Tagged: evicted

More people from the North East contacting a homelessness helpline than ever before

More people than ever before are contacting a homelessness helpline fearing they are about to be forced onto the streets.

The charity Shelter has spoken to more than 2,000 people in the North East in the last year on the brink of homelessness – a 28% rise since 2012.

They also found that 28 households in the region are at risk of losing their homes everyday through mortgage and landlord possession claims.

Stephanie, who lives near Chester-le-Street, said she rang Shelter after her husband was injured in a serious accident and she could not keep up with mortgage payments without his wage.

She said:

“I found myself facing homelessness when my husband had a serious accident. He ended up in hospital in intensive care for months, and with his wage no longer coming in, we really struggled to keep up with the mortgage payments.

“We weren’t able to get assistance with my husband’s care, and without his wages, we just couldn’t keep up.”

At the same time as Stephanie was trying to secure specialist care for her husband, she said she was inundated with calls about the house from her mortgage company.

Eventually this culminated in a warrant for repossession which was issued a year ago – prompting Stephanie to call Shelter for the first time.

Shelter helpline adviser Nadeem Khan, who helps people in the North East, said:

“It’s so heart-breaking to hear from families struggling to keep a roof over their heads, especially around this time of year.

“Hearing the panic in a parent’s voice when they’ve just been evicted or had their home repossessed never gets any easier. Sadly, every year we get more and more of these calls over the holidays, and this Christmas will be no different.”

The number of people at risk of homelessness who called the Shelter helpline in the North East from October 2013 to September 2014 rose to 2,055 from 1,609 between October 2011 and September 2012, an increase of 28% or 446 people over two years.

As England’s shortage of affordable homes continues to push housing costs sky high, the charity is expecting even more families to be in desperate need of its help this Christmas.

Stephanie said calling Shelter after her husband became ill has changed things around for her family and they will now have a roof over their heads this Christmas.

She said: “There was no talking down to me, no telling me what I had to do.

“They referred me to a great adviser and they were absolutely fantastic, they’ve helped me so much.”

After securing more time from the court to look for somewhere else to live, Durham County Council helped her find a suitable bungalow that will accommodate her husband when he is out of hospital.

Source –  Newcastle Evening Chronicle,  19 Nov 2014

Mother discovers she’s being evicted from home of 14 years during supermarket chat

Hundreds have signed a petition in support of an artist who first heard she was being evicted from her home during a supermarket chat.

Kim Tillyer has rented her two two-bedroom North York Moors cottage, near Osmotherley, from the Snilesworth Estate for 14 years.

But the mother-of-two only learned of the eviction when she bumped into an acquaintance in the supermarket who mentioned she had heard she was moving.

She contacted the land agent, who manages the cottage on behalf of the Snilesworth Estate trustees, who confirmed she was indeed being evicted and was being served notice to quit.

More than 700 people have already signed an online petition urging the estate to think again.

Ms Tillyer, who has always paid her rent promptly and has spent years creating a beautiful garden, said:

I was really on the point of collapse when I found out.

“It’s just so upsetting. I was on good terms with the trustees of the house. I went up to the lodge with a jar of jam and literally begged; ‘please don’t make me homeless’.”

The artist moved into the cottage in 2000 with her son and daughter, now aged 19 and 22.

She writes a popular blog detailing life on the moors, ‘Witchmountain’, which has many world-wide followers.

“Emotionally my tie to the moors is massive,” she said.

I’ve made virtual friends from all over the world with my blog. Every plant in the garden has a sentimental story behind it. There’s two chestnut trees I planted with my children when we moved up here. It’s just home.”

Property agents Carter Jonas, who manage the tenancy for the Snilesworth Estate, said neither they or the trustees wished to comment.

The eviction comes just over a year since a number of tenants on the former estate of Sir Lawrie Barratt in Farndale, also on the North York Moors, found they were being evicted by the two sons of the late Barratt Homes magnate. Peter and David Barratt sold their cottages to pay the inheritance tax on their late father’s £48million estate.

Housing charity Shelter says it reflected a national problem with lack of security for many tenants in rented homes.

Director of policy, Roger Harding, said:
“More people have no option but to rent. Unfortunately, renting is not only expensive but offers little security, with most landlords offering short-term lets and able to evict tenants at any time.”
> It’s how Britain is being redesigned – low pay, little security, keep everybody living in fear of losing the little they have.  Then blame them for everything.
Source –  Northern Echo,  09 Oct 2014

Public Support For Axing ‘Bedroom Tax’ Has Never Been Higher

Nearly half of the British public are now opposed to the controversial ‘bedroom tax’, a poll by YouGov has revealed.

The  poll for The Sun found that 49% were opposed to the bedroom tax in July 2014, compared to 41% who still support the housing policy. This is in stark contradiction to March 2013, when 49% approved of cutting Housing Benefit for people under-occupying their social home and 38% disapproved.

Public support for the  tax has not been higher than 42% since November 2013, while opposition to the policy is now at its higher ever level, according to the poll.

 The poll comes after Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg announced a dramatic U-turn on his party’s earlier support for the  tax. He said his party would seek to overhaul the policy, if it is still in government after the 2015 general election, by only penalising social housing tenants who refuse a smaller property.

 Clegg would also seek to exempt sick and disabled people who need an extra bedroom.

> Well he says that now. Come the 2015 election, should he by some unexplainable cosmic oversight still find himself in power, it might well be a different story.

Ditto all the main parties. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear, right up to the moment they’ve got your vote. Beyond that, there’s no guarantees.

His U-turn was slammed by Labour who accused him of “unbelievable hypocrisy”, after the party voted in favour of the bedroom tax and paved the way for its introduction. Without the support of  Clegg’s party the policy would have fallen at the first hurdle.

Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander (Lib Dem MP) yesterday apologised to social housing tenants who had been evicted from their homes after fallen behind on their rent, as a direct result of the tax.

Under changes to housing benefit, introduced by the tory-led coalition government as part of widespread welfare reforms, social housing tenants deemed to be under-occupying a property must downsize to a smaller property, or contribute to their rent through a deduction in the amount of Housing Benefit they receive. The exact deduction depends upon how many spare bedrooms an affected household has in their home: 14% for one spare bedroom or 25% for two or more.

A study by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), sneaked out during David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle, revealed that 59% of families affected by the bedroom tax are in arrears with their rent and less than 5% were able to downsize to a smaller property.

Despite the apparent failure and hardship caused by the under-occupation penalty, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP, somehow managed to hold on to his job – to the shock and dismay of many of our readers.

However, this sharp rise in the number of people opposed to the bedroom tax  may at least give some of our readers hope that one day we will see the back of this hated housing policy.

YouGov surveyed 692 adults between 16-17 July 2014. The results were ‘weighted’ to provide an accurate picture (as possible) of wider public opinion.

 Source – Welfare News Service,  18 July 2014
http://welfarenewsservice.com/public-support-axing-bedroom-tax-never-higher/