Life is really no cream cracker for a great many, that's the simple plan truth, and no more so than for the thousands who are homeless today in Britain, and if anything its getting worse and set to get even more worse. What if the housing bubble bursts in the next few years, what if we see a massive jump in repossessions of the family home then what? I cannot imagine what it would be like for a family if a lender was to take over ownership of a home because a mortgage or other loan secured on your home hasn't been paid.
As a homeowner, it is also possible to lose your home if:a bankruptcy order is made against you or the local council or other public body makes a compulsory purchase order to buy your home. (This usually only happens if a major local development, such as a road widening scheme, is planned.) Or in my case along came the olympics in 2012, however I was rehoused by the local council.
Repossession usually happens as a result of mortgage arrears or arrears on another secured loan taken out against a property. Arrears build up if you don't pay your mortgage or second loan in full at the times your payments are due.
Lenders should make sure that you can afford the repayments before they allow you to have a mortgage or second loan, however, most recent history has taught us that this hasn't always been the case, and of course your circumstances can change and income may go down as a result of:redundancy or reduced hours at work, sickness, accidents and disability, divorce, separation or bereavement, pregnancy, having or adopting children.
It’s not just homeowners who are living with this constant and continuous nightmare, homelessness affects a wide variety of people, but some people may be more vulnerable to homelessness because they have particular needs. For example you may have limited housing rights or be less able to cope by yourself if you are: a young person leaving home for the first time or leaving care, an offender leaving prison. Then there are the austerity cuts and caps, the council tax, the bedroom tax, sanctions on the unemployed and the sick and the cost of living crisis that the Labour leader and others love to play a game of lip service with which has all cost many their homes. There is much more I know that could be said about this housing crisis which in my opinion has been deliberately contrived to manufacture a favorable operation for the banks and the money lenders, including Universal Credit which is replacing a number of existing social security benefits, including Housing Benefit, with a single monthly payment for each affected household. Most people will be required to apply for the new benefit online, but a new survey by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the National Housing Federation (NHF) questions whether those people will have the means or even the capacity to do so.
According to the survey four in ten (40%) affected households do not have access to the internet at all, and of the 51% who said they did have internet access 30% said they would not feel confident in making an application for Universal Credit online.
Under Universal Credit Housing Benefit will be paid directly to the claimant rather than the landlord on a monthly basis. This has led to concerns that some tenants may struggle to keep up with their rent payments because they may use that money for other purposes, such as food and heating. So it makes you wonder what we have in store for the future?
I found the following article on-line and published by the Londonist.
New Rough Sleepers In London Increase 12%
The number of people newly recorded as sleeping rough in London between January and March this year rose 12% compared to the same period in 2013.
The charity St Mungo’s Broadway, which runs the Mayor’s No Second Night Out programme, has published its latest figures for rough sleeping. During the first quarter of 2014, outreach workers identified 1,030 people sleeping on the streets for the first time, compared to 922 in January-March 2013. 72% of these people were seen just once, which compares to 83% the previous year; in 2014, 5% ended up living on the streets (3% in 2013), while 23% slept rough more than once but didn’t become permanent rough sleepers (15% in 2013).
Of rough sleepers who weren’t new, 392 were classed as living on the street (1% higher than the same period in 2013 but 8% lower than October-December 2013, but it’s worth remembering that winter generally sees the least number of people sleeping rough because of the weather) and 656 people were intermittently sleeping on the street (11% higher than last year and 19% lower than the end of 2013). We make that a total of 2,078 rough sleepers seen at the start of the year (St Mungo’s Broadway makes it 2,029 — Edit: the group of 392 includes 49 rough sleepers who were both new rough sleepers in the period, and seen rough sleeping enough to already be deemed to be living on the streets – and says that’s an 8% increase on January-March 2013).
A 12% period-on-period increase for new rough sleepers is in line with the 14% annual increase between 2011-12 and 2012-13; the overall increase in rough sleepers between 2011-12 and 2012-13 was 13%. You may remember headlines about a rise of 43% between 2010-11 and 2011-12; we’ve previously written that part of that rise was down to more efficient ways of recording rough sleepers. In effect, what that rise was doing was recording for the first time some people who’d previously fallen under the radar. With this new data, it looks like rough sleeping in London is increasing at a rate of about 10%.
We also shouldn’t forget the hidden issue of people who are homeless but in temporary accommodation – 42,430 households in London by the end of 2013, an increase of 9% over 2012. Does anything highlight this city’s growing inequality better than these figures?