Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Leafleting Hackney

May 22 2009
The London Coalition Against Poverty has been leafleting homeless units to raise people‘s awareness of their housing rights The London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP) has been leafleting homeless units in Hackney and other councils since last year to raise people's awareness of their housing rights and how to go about applying for accommodation. The leaflets came partly in response to the problem of gatekeeping, with LCAP outlining "what to look for in terms of the council" using this practice, highlighting the council's criteria for deciding what assistance, if any, will be given. As we reported in issue 29 of The Pavement, local authorities are believed to discourage hostels and other services from taking applications and documenting rejections for housing in a practise known within the industry as 'gatekeeping'. The law states that local authorities have an obligation to take applications from anyone they believe is homeless or threatened by homelessness and that they are under duty to accommodate these people while they make their enquiries. Ellie Schling at LCAP said: "As well as informing people of their rights, this is also vital outreach work for our organisation, and if someone's rights are being denied then we have in the past taken direct action with that person to make the council fulfil their duty to them." The London Coalition Against Poverty is a one-year-old organisation, modelled closely on the work of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. The group aims to take strategic action around issues related to poverty - homelessness, low wages, benefit payments.