Homeless quiz London’s housing committee

Since the introduction of the welfare reforms both social and private landlords have struggled to house an increasing amount of people who have less money than they did a few months ago. As there is such as massive demand for housing rent prices have naturally risen, however due to the welfare reforms most people now have less when it comes to housing benefits, which means that a large number of people are now finding themselves homeless.

This is why a group of homeless people in Haringey, London met up with members of the London housing committee to voice their frustrations and ask what they are planning on doing to fix the problem in the future. On Tuesday 28th May, a panel made up of Conservative Andrew Boff, Green Party member Darren Johnson, Liberal Democrat Stephen Knight and Labour’s Joanne McCartney had to face those that had been the worst affected by the welfare reforms and listen to what they have had to go through.

Discussing the event which was held in the Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen, owner Martin Stone said: “They talked about really practical things like how difficult it is to find a place to live when rents are going up and housing benefit is going down or where a person’s letters are sent when they have no fixed address. Some shared their grievances and told very personal stories to the assembly members who are working to deal with homelessness in the capital. It was a really inclusive event and everyone was welcome to come along to it.”

Meanwhile, Oxfam campaigner Katrina Gajevska who organised the event said: “There was a heated discussion between service users, members of the public and councillors. It gave everyone a chance to raise the very topical issue of poverty to London Assembly members and talk about their experiences.” Even though most people have seen the reports about the increasing number of homeless people in the UK, very few have actually listened to those that have been affected by it, which is why meetings such as these are so important.

Even though private landlords can protect their business with rent guarantee insurance many are still wary of letting to those that receive benefits, especially after the welfare reforms. However, private landlords may soon have to step and even reduce their rent prices in order to alleviate the amount of homeless currently in the UK.

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