The Office for National Statistics
(ONS) estimates 726 homeless
people died in England and Wales
in 2018, the most in a single year on
record. The grim figures represent a
22% rise on the number of deaths in
2017. This is also the biggest annual
increase since data started being
collected in 2013.
Drug related deaths increased
by 55% from 2017 to 2018, by far
the biggest increase among causes.
Overall there were 294 deaths
associated with drug abuse, with
131 of those attributed to opiate
poisoning. In Birmingham 23
people died – this was the highest
number of deaths recorded by a local
Pavement says: Living on the streets can be fatal. With a million people on council house waiting lists where are the homes that people need? That’s why there’s a growing call for the Government to start house building again. In Scotland Housing First has just passed its first milestone (see p6). While TV presenter George Clarke – who fronted C4’s Council House Scandal - is campaigning for 100,000 new council houses to be built every year for the next 30 years.
Sign the petition on:
Parliament has apologised to a group
of people sleeping rough close to the
Palace of Westminster in September,
for taking individual photos of them
while they were asleep. The photos
were taken by a cleaning contractor
employed by the parliamentary
estate, according to the Guardian.
A House of Commons spokesperson
refused to explain why the pictures
were being taken, although they did
apologise for “any distress caused”
adding that the practice “has been
Tooth care: November is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month. Visit a dentist if
you have an ulcer that hasn’t healed after two weeks or you see a red/white
patch in your mouth or you have pain/difficulty when swallowing.
In Scotland, 120 previously homeless
people have now been housed under
the groundbreaking Housing First
program begun in 2018 writes Jack
Hanington. The pathfinder policy
aims to provide stable housing
as a first step, rather than a last
step, in the process of overcoming
The Scottish Government, working
with Social Bite, local authorities,
third sector and housing providers,
is trying to make Scotland the third
country to attempt a nationwide roll
out of the Housing First program.
Currently it is run in Aberdeen City,
Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Edinburgh,
Glasgow and Stirling. By 2021,
Housing First aims to provide 830
people with their own home.
No UC evictions
Living Rent, Scotland’s Tenants
Union, is launching a new Glasgow
city-wide campaign calling on
Housing Associations (HAs) to halt
evictions arising from Universal
Credit (UC) writes Jack Hanington.
Following the Tenants Union’s
summer actions against Serco
and Mears Group in solidarity with
300 eviction-threatened asylum
seekers and refugees, Living Rent will
organise across Glasgow to pressure
HAs to commit to a No UC Evictions
policy. Research from the National
Housing Federation showed last year
that nearly three-quarters (73%)
of tenants on UC are in debt. In
2018/19, evictions of UC claimants
from council houses in the UK
reached an all-time high.
Readers of the Pavement will be
all too familiar with the difficulties
of accessing affordable housing.
Our July/August 2019 issue noted
Shelter’s report on the rift between
councils and social landlords, who
weren’t taking on homeless people
as prospective tenants. Then in
September the Chartered Institute
of Housing released a report
confirming that social landlords
don’t want homeless people as
tenants. The study reveals social
landlords routinely exclude homeless
people from accommodation due to
fears over the reliability of universal
credit, unmet support needs and
a presumption that prospective
tenants would find themselves in
New Hackney hostel
Dalston, London, is set to welcome
a new hostel for homeless families.
Blue Chip Trading Ltd and property
developer Hezi Zakai have had plans
for the purpose-built 292-room
hostel approved and work will start
imminently. The hostel looks set to
house more than 600 people, and
offer 24-hour security, as well as free
wi-fi and a launderette. Rooms will
come fitted with workstations too,
according to the Hackney Citizen.
The plan has its detractors, with
some councillors arguing this is not
‘temporary’ accommodation as
tenants may stay for years in housing
not fit for permanent residence.
Hackney council will manage the site
once work is complete.