931 families who presented as homeless are already placed outside of London and Tower Hamlets council alone predict a further 500 families from their borough will join them in 2014. TV Edwards Solicitor Jane Pritchard contributes to BBC London News report in to the widespread practice of London council’s moving families to places including Birmingham, Bradford and Peterborough.
Jane Pritchard comments:
“This is just the tip of the iceberg, London councils are applying policies by move families first and asking questions later. At TV Edwards we act for numerous clients who have become homeless from private housing, council’s have plenty of notice of their pending homelessness, they wait for the day of their eviction and their only offer is a one way ticket to Birmingham. This means their children leaving school, their support networks, families and friends behind. Without help with child care it is likely to prevent clients rebuilding their lives by gaining employment. This is temporary housing but with no certainty as to a move back to London. We are worried that many families who have been threatened they will be housed outside of London would rather drop out of any social housing provision and remain perpetually homeless than move often hundreds of miles away. These families are not recorded in the figures anywhere but we know it is happening and the crisis is deepening”.
The Government has told the BBC that a blanket policy of moving families outside of London would be unlawful and has condemned the practice.
Slough Council explained how difficult it is to assist scores of households placed out of London who need local resources, health, housing and education services already under huge pressure.
Jane Pritchard is a member of a specialist team of Housing lawyers at TV Edwards and can be contacted on 07786 151166 and 0203 440 8202 firstname.lastname@example.org. TV Edwards provides free legal advice to homeless applicants under the governments Legal Aid Scheme.