More support for town's homeless

More support for town's homeless

More support for town's homeless

First published in News

HOMELESS people in Taunton are to get more support to help them settle into normal living accommodation.

The Taunton Association for the Homeless is planning to expand its work giving emergency accommodation to those who have been sleeping outdoors without any shelter.

The group is now offering educational courses so that homeless people can gain new skills and get their lives back on track.

Whilst visiting the association’s offices in East Reach, Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne said: “The Taunton Association for the Homeless is an excellent local organisation that works tirelessly to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“The benefits of giving emergency accommodation to a homeless person are obvious.

“What matters though is not just picking up a person who has fallen but also getting that person to stand on their own feet again.”

Comments (5)

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12:40pm Tue 26 Aug 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

This short article will leave the majority of readers absolutely incredulous in wide-eyed disbelief.

What next? A future Gazette news item highlighting a visit by Dracula to the local Blood Bank?!



End high rents + low wages!

End this housing misery!


'Generation rent' is becoming more like 'three generations rent'. The website spareroom.com has recently revealed that in 2013 more than 60,000 over-40s placed 'room wanted' adverts on the site.

So while it's widely acknowledged that young people will be the first since World War Two to be worse off than our parents, this suggests our parents aren't doing too well either!

Despite all the hot air about the magic wand of the government's help-to-buy scheme, owning our own home is completely out of reach for most of us. So, renting it is. And that's not a cheap option either.

The average monthly rent is now £676 in Britain. People in 17 London boroughs now spend more than 50% of their income on rent.

A recent Channel 4 report highlighted the case of Sian Green. Sian is 20, works 12 hours a day, six days a week and rents a bedroom in a London flat infested with cockroaches. She earns £800 a month and pays £700 in rent. Sian is nowhere near unique.

With wages stagnant at best and private sector rents sky-rocketing, a record number of 20-34 year olds now live with their parents.

The message is clear - if you're poor, you have no right to an adult life. Your punishment for not being able to find a job when there aren't enough, for being low-paid when wages are declining or frozen, is to face overcrowding, poor conditions or even homelessness.

People are desperate. And landlords and letting agents know it. It's becoming increasingly common to ask potential tenants to 'bid' against each other and give the house to the person or family prepared to pay the most. What chance do we stand if we earn below average?

Never mind if we're unemployed or so low paid we have to claim housing benefit.

We're supposed to believe that there's no alternative to this madness. But then why has the problem got so much worse? Deregulation, privatisation and cuts. 25% of council housing, which used to be a safe and affordable option for working class people, has been sold off.

Nowhere near enough housing is being built. They've changed the definition of 'affordable' so that very few can actually afford it.

Enough is enough! We have to fight to end this housing misery and make sure everyone can afford a decent place to live.

We demand:

*Rent control - cap rents not benefits

*Council-run, not-for-profit letting agencies and local fair rent councils

*Job creation and a genuine living wage

*Axe the bedroom tax

*A mass programme of council house-building and renovation

Don't just get angry, get organised!

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit:

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
This short article will leave the majority of readers absolutely incredulous in wide-eyed disbelief. What next? A future Gazette news item highlighting a visit by Dracula to the local Blood Bank?! End high rents + low wages! End this housing misery! 'Generation rent' is becoming more like 'three generations rent'. The website spareroom.com has recently revealed that in 2013 more than 60,000 over-40s placed 'room wanted' adverts on the site. So while it's widely acknowledged that young people will be the first since World War Two to be worse off than our parents, this suggests our parents aren't doing too well either! Despite all the hot air about the magic wand of the government's help-to-buy scheme, owning our own home is completely out of reach for most of us. So, renting it is. And that's not a cheap option either. The average monthly rent is now £676 in Britain. People in 17 London boroughs now spend more than 50% of their income on rent. A recent Channel 4 report highlighted the case of Sian Green. Sian is 20, works 12 hours a day, six days a week and rents a bedroom in a London flat infested with cockroaches. She earns £800 a month and pays £700 in rent. Sian is nowhere near unique. With wages stagnant at best and private sector rents sky-rocketing, a record number of 20-34 year olds now live with their parents. The message is clear - if you're poor, you have no right to an adult life. Your punishment for not being able to find a job when there aren't enough, for being low-paid when wages are declining or frozen, is to face overcrowding, poor conditions or even homelessness. People are desperate. And landlords and letting agents know it. It's becoming increasingly common to ask potential tenants to 'bid' against each other and give the house to the person or family prepared to pay the most. What chance do we stand if we earn below average? Never mind if we're unemployed or so low paid we have to claim housing benefit. We're supposed to believe that there's no alternative to this madness. But then why has the problem got so much worse? Deregulation, privatisation and cuts. 25% of council housing, which used to be a safe and affordable option for working class people, has been sold off. Nowhere near enough housing is being built. They've changed the definition of 'affordable' so that very few can actually afford it. Enough is enough! We have to fight to end this housing misery and make sure everyone can afford a decent place to live. We demand: *Rent control - cap rents not benefits *Council-run, not-for-profit letting agencies and local fair rent councils *Job creation and a genuine living wage *Axe the bedroom tax *A mass programme of council house-building and renovation Don't just get angry, get organised! For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 10

12:42pm Tue 26 Aug 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

Earlier this year the charity Oxfam reported that a mere five billionaire families owned as much wealth as 20% of the population in Britain.

More recently, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has calculated that the country's richest 1% have amassed as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population.

But as shocking as this inequality is, critics have pointed out that the ONS calculations of the country's £9.5 trillion of property, pensions and financial assets, leaves out the trillions of pounds estimated to be salted away by the super-rich in offshore tax havens.

Don't just get angry, get organised!

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit:

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Earlier this year the charity Oxfam reported that a mere five billionaire families owned as much wealth as 20% of the population in Britain. More recently, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has calculated that the country's richest 1% have amassed as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population. But as shocking as this inequality is, critics have pointed out that the ONS calculations of the country's £9.5 trillion of property, pensions and financial assets, leaves out the trillions of pounds estimated to be salted away by the super-rich in offshore tax havens. Don't just get angry, get organised! For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 10

12:46pm Tue 26 Aug 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

Unaffordable housing

34 first time buyers in Streatham, south London, were left stranded after their "affordable housing" was gazumped by their own social housing provider, Wandle.

After new valuations by Wandle, prices for one bedroom flats soared by an average £55,000 and two bedroom properties by £115,000.

A catering worker told the Evening Standard: "I got my mortgage approved and my bags have been packed ready to move in. I've been living out of boxes for months just waiting for the keys. It's devastating." Another scuppered buyer described Wandle as "behaving like mercenaries".

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Unaffordable housing 34 first time buyers in Streatham, south London, were left stranded after their "affordable housing" was gazumped by their own social housing provider, Wandle. After new valuations by Wandle, prices for one bedroom flats soared by an average £55,000 and two bedroom properties by £115,000. A catering worker told the Evening Standard: "I got my mortgage approved and my bags have been packed ready to move in. I've been living out of boxes for months just waiting for the keys. It's devastating." Another scuppered buyer described Wandle as "behaving like mercenaries". www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 9

12:49pm Tue 26 Aug 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

The great British housing disaster

One of the most pressing social problems facing millions of people is the lack of affordable housing to buy or rent. Successive Labour and Con-Dem governments, and their local government counterparts, have failed to invest in building sufficient council housing and instead, encouraged profit-taking private developers and landlords to supply housing. The result has been a disaster.

In London and the south of England in particular, where housing demand is greater, house prices and rents during the recent recession, when people's incomes have been squeezed, have gone stratospheric. Whereas in parts of the north of England, Scotland and Wales, house prices have fallen, leaving some mortgage payers in 'negative equity'.

It's patently obvious that government policy based on the private sector to provide sufficient housing has failed and that the only solution is a mass council house building programme, coupled to rent capping in the private sector.

http://www.socialist
party.org.uk/article
s/18869
The great British housing disaster One of the most pressing social problems facing millions of people is the lack of affordable housing to buy or rent. Successive Labour and Con-Dem governments, and their local government counterparts, have failed to invest in building sufficient council housing and instead, encouraged profit-taking private developers and landlords to supply housing. The result has been a disaster. In London and the south of England in particular, where housing demand is greater, house prices and rents during the recent recession, when people's incomes have been squeezed, have gone stratospheric. Whereas in parts of the north of England, Scotland and Wales, house prices have fallen, leaving some mortgage payers in 'negative equity'. It's patently obvious that government policy based on the private sector to provide sufficient housing has failed and that the only solution is a mass council house building programme, coupled to rent capping in the private sector. http://www.socialist party.org.uk/article s/18869 SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 9

12:54pm Tue 26 Aug 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

Housing facts in brief

*The cost of an average house in the UK is ten times bigger than the average salary, rising to 14 times bigger in London, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
£250,000 average house price in UK; average earnings £26,910

*House prices per square metre have risen by 13% since 2009, going up by 34% in Greater London (61% in Lambeth, south London). However, prices in the North and Scotland fell by 3% and 5% respectively. (source: Halifax)

*While profits may be increasing, output in the building sector is 11.3% below its pre-crisis peak. Last year only 109,370 new homes were built in England, when 240,000 new homes a year are needed in order to meet demand.

*Tesco is sitting on enough land to build 15,000 new homes - a massive 4.6 million square metres. According to the Guardian, the proposed new garden city of Ebbsfleet could be accommodated by the retailing giant's land bank.

*Rents take up an average of 50% of disposable income, a trend that is only likely to worsen. The number of housing benefit claimants who work has risen by 104% since 2009.

*£24 billion pounds of taxpayers' money a year goes on housing benefit - most of which is going in the pockets of private landlords.
Providing council housing with genuinely affordable rents and capping rent would reduce the bill.

*The government has cut £7 billion in housing benefit and made draconian cuts in council tax benefit adversely affecting low income families.

*Claimants under 35 years, in particular, have been hammered by the government's introduction of a lower rate of housing allowance.

*There has been a 26% rise in homelessness in England over the last four years, meaning 112,070 people lack proper shelter. The number of rough sleepers in London alone rose by 75% in the same period to reach 6,437.

*An estimated 70% of homeless people suffer mental health problems yet homeless shelters have been closed and health services cut.

*The government's affordable housing budget for 2011-2015 has been almost halved. The social rented housing model has now been dropped in favour of an 'affordable rent' tenure.

*New homes built will be let at up to 80% of local market rents with 'flexible' tenancies of a minimum of two years instead of secure lifetime tenancies.

*In London, over 271,000 council homes have been sold off since 1980. More than a third of them are rented out by private landlords. 9.3% of private rented homes suffer from damp.


Don't just get angry, get organised!

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit:

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Housing facts in brief  *The cost of an average house in the UK is ten times bigger than the average salary, rising to 14 times bigger in London, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). £250,000 average house price in UK; average earnings £26,910  *House prices per square metre have risen by 13% since 2009, going up by 34% in Greater London (61% in Lambeth, south London). However, prices in the North and Scotland fell by 3% and 5% respectively. (source: Halifax)  *While profits may be increasing, output in the building sector is 11.3% below its pre-crisis peak. Last year only 109,370 new homes were built in England, when 240,000 new homes a year are needed in order to meet demand.  *Tesco is sitting on enough land to build 15,000 new homes - a massive 4.6 million square metres. According to the Guardian, the proposed new garden city of Ebbsfleet could be accommodated by the retailing giant's land bank.  *Rents take up an average of 50% of disposable income, a trend that is only likely to worsen. The number of housing benefit claimants who work has risen by 104% since 2009.  *£24 billion pounds of taxpayers' money a year goes on housing benefit - most of which is going in the pockets of private landlords. Providing council housing with genuinely affordable rents and capping rent would reduce the bill.  *The government has cut £7 billion in housing benefit and made draconian cuts in council tax benefit adversely affecting low income families. *Claimants under 35 years, in particular, have been hammered by the government's introduction of a lower rate of housing allowance.  *There has been a 26% rise in homelessness in England over the last four years, meaning 112,070 people lack proper shelter. The number of rough sleepers in London alone rose by 75% in the same period to reach 6,437.  *An estimated 70% of homeless people suffer mental health problems yet homeless shelters have been closed and health services cut.  *The government's affordable housing budget for 2011-2015 has been almost halved. The social rented housing model has now been dropped in favour of an 'affordable rent' tenure. *New homes built will be let at up to 80% of local market rents with 'flexible' tenancies of a minimum of two years instead of secure lifetime tenancies.  *In London, over 271,000 council homes have been sold off since 1980. More than a third of them are rented out by private landlords. 9.3% of private rented homes suffer from damp. Don't just get angry, get organised! For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 9

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