Policy mistake

Staff, January 8th 2018

Changes to government policy and the six-week wait experienced by new claimants to Universal Credit are exacerbating the difficulties faced by homeless people and benefit claimants trying to enter the private rental sector.

While the Homeless Reduction Act is expected to bring down the cost of temporary accommodation, it is unlikely to work in London, warn experts.

In his November budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond pledged £25 million to tackle homelessness with a view to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it by 2027.

But the move may decrease homeless people's access to private accommodation. In a survey conducted by Crisis in 2016, private landlords were generally reluctant to rent to people in receipt of Housing Benefit (Universal Credit has been rolled out in 2013–17), and even more reluctant to rent to people they know to be homeless. Crisis suggests measures to motivate landlords to let to homeless people and those receiving benefits, including rent paid directly from local housing allowance funds to the landlord.

Already, the Mayor of Lewisham and executive member for Housing and London Councils, Sir Steve Bullock, has said the demands made on councils by the Homeless Reduction Act will be so high, London could account for most of the available government funding.

Can't Select pavementDB1045: Access denied for user 'walnutjam'@'localhost' (using password: NO)Can't Select pavementDB1045: Access denied for user 'walnutjam'@'localhost' (using password: NO)


One brick at a time

In April, our From The Ground Up peer reporters graduated. Over the... more...

News in brief, May–June 2018

Super help Italian chef Aldo Zilli (left) and Big Brother finalist judged Centrepoint’s... more...

Why suicide?

Everyone found this assignment tough... Our From The Ground Up peer reporters... more...

Latest News

News in brief, March–April 2018

All the news that fits!
... more...

Numbers up

Rough sleeping is at its highest since records began
... more...

Public shift

Let's dump the clichéd image of homelessness
... more...

Improved app

Streetlink has had a makeover to increase support options
... more...

Stories of the streets

An exhibition giving an insight into the photographic talents of the homeless community is wowing Nottingham... more...


May/June 2018


London edition (PDF 1.13MB)


Scottish edition (PDF 1.13MB)