To: Lambeth Council

Rent arrears is not 'intentional homelessness'

Rent arrears is not 'intentional homelessness'

Lambeth council should not evict tenants who get into rent arrears because of unpaid benefits.
If tenants are evicted by a private landlord for rent arrears caused by unpaid benefits, Lambeth council should not classify them as 'intentionally homeless' or refuse to rehouse them.

Why is this important?

Many people on part-time or zero-hours contracts have ongoing problems getting paid their full entitlement of housing benefit and end up in rent arrears.

This is what happened to Clavia Chambers who was evicted by Lambeth Council last month with her two young children and is still fighting to have this decision overturned (http://housingactivists.co.uk/protest/clavias-case-shows-how-anyone-can-become-homeless )

All unemployed, disabled and low paid workers are currently being moved onto Universal Credit. The chronic delays, cuts, and mismanagement of claims in this new system is going to make this situation even worse.

There has been an explosive rise in rent arrears among universal credit claimants. There is a real danger of spiralling numbers of evictions and more social cleansing in Lambeth because the council currently classifies people evicted for rent arrears as 'intentionally homeless' and refuses to rehouse them.

Lambeth council should not be evicting people who fall foul of the brutal and complicated benefits system. They should be supporting tenants to appeal unjust benefit decisions and they should use their powers to make discretionary housing benefit payments to prevent people in private rented homes becoming homeless too.

London Borough of Lambeth

Reasons for signing

  • My son has waited over 3 months for a decision on a claim after they cancelled his claim without reason. Since then his rent has accrued and the council have sent an intention to apply for repossession, and are to implement his eviction at the end of october. All their own doing which he is going to pay the price for. They say he will have made himself intentionally homeless and will refuse to assist to accommodate him if he's evicted.
  • This is a situation that can happen to anyone and is totally inhuman way of acting.
  • Council's have a responsibility to protect the vulnerable and families. They simply cannot ignore the precarious labour market and universal credit situation many of their tenants, and need to develop policies to align with the tenants needs. It makes me very sad to see how little humanity is in the minds of those issuing evictions on the basis of rent arrears inflicted by the state's own system.

Updates

2017-10-10 17:11:42 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2017-09-28 09:02:16 +0100

500 signatures reached

2017-09-25 22:22:05 +0100

100 signatures reached

2017-09-25 21:33:46 +0100

50 signatures reached

2017-09-25 21:19:32 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-09-25 21:12:09 +0100

10 signatures reached