Homeless news updates

from The Guardian

Homeless people in Oxford threatened with £2,500 fines

City council under fire after legal notices pinned to rough sleepers’ bags left in shop doorways

Homeless people putting their possessions in shop doorways in Oxford have been threatened with fines of up to £2,500.

Legal notices have been pinned on to bags belonging to rough sleepers, warning that they could be prosecuted by Oxford city council for being in breach of antisocial behaviour laws.

Statement regarding the removal of abandoned items from Cornmarket Street last week. pic.twitter.com/NHxKkRomCe

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

‘Young people can’t get the kind of help I did when I was homeless’ | Dawn Foster

Benefits put a roof over my head when I was 17, says shadow housing minister Melanie Onn. But it’s not so easy now

Melanie Onn, the Labour MP for Great Grimsby and new shadow housing minister, grew up in the town she has represented in parliament since 2015. Onn, who worked in Labour’s compliance unit for 10 years, is friendly and chatty and seems to have a deep and genuine interest in the town. “I was born and raised in Grimsby and moved around a lot within the town when I was younger,” she says. “Some people want to just be an MP, and that’s fine, but I really wanted to represent the town,” she says.

Related: Housing crisis: more than 200,000 homes in England lie empty

Related: Britain’s housing crisis is so serious that it must be tackled now

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Homeless people demand M&S apology over deterrent alarm

Marks & Spencer says high-pitched alarm that kept rough sleepers awake is no longer in use at store in Ilford

A group of rough sleepers have called on Marks & Spencer to apologise for “tormenting” them with a high-pitched alarm while they have been bedding down behind one of its stores.

The alarm was in use for several months to deter homeless people from trying to sleep in an underpass behind the store in Ilford, east London.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

It's time to end no fault evictions| Dan Wilson Craw

No fault evictions allow private landlords to turf tenants out without any reason. It’s legal but its use is on the rise and it needs to stop

  • Dan Wilson Craw is director of Generation Rent

For every school in England there are five children without a home. The Local Government Association reports that 120,000 children are living in temporary accommodation. The primary cause of this homelessness is the end of a private sector tenancy, ie eviction.

Related: 100 tenants a day lose homes as rising rents and benefit freeze hit

Related: Tenant evicted ‘because he wanted hot water’

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Chronicling homelessness: the summer heat takes a brutal toll

With temperatures in some major metropolitan areas pushing upward of 100F, the fundamental physical circumstances of homelessness take on a new urgency

As temperatures tick up across the country – around 100F in Los Angeles, almost 120F in Phoenix – and I find I sometimes have to sit directly in front of a fan in order to get any work done, it’s hard not to think guiltily of those with no such option. We reported recently about a homeless Arizona man who had no shoes and was found crawling across burning asphalt, and a woman who told us it was so hot on the streets, even at night, that she woke every hour to douse her hair with water.

Of all the hardships of homelessness, it is the fundamental physical circumstances – exposure to the elements, the struggle to keep clean, the discomfort of bedding down on concrete – that are often the most piercing. On Skid Row in Los Angeles, there are only nine toilets available to the 1,800 people sleeping on the streets at night. According to the authors of a recent report, this contravenes a UN standard for long term refugee camps, which specifies one toilet for 20 people at the most.

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Beaten, urinated on … for homeless people, abuse is a daily ordeal | Tamsen Courtenay

A London coffee shop caused outrage when it refused to sell food to a good samaritan for a homeless man. But I saw far worse during my time on the streets

• Tamsen Courtenay is an author

Like many other people, I watched Adrian Pinsent’s video of coffee shop staff at Waterloo station last week refusing to let him buy food for a man with no home and an empty stomach. A member of staff claimed that it was company policy and the rules of the station. The employee was wrong, it turned out – but the incident brought back some vivid memories for me.

I recently spent several months in central London recording 30 homeless people as they chronicled their lives with great candour and humility. Much of what they talked about was their life, now, on the street. No front door key. Few possessions. Little dignity. I collected their stories and called the book Four Feet Under, because they live four feet under the rest of us.

He beat me down the right-hand side of my body and legs so hard that I was deeply bruised for 10 days

Related: ‘Spat on and ignored’: what I’ve learned from a month sleeping rough in London

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Number of homeless children in temporary accommodation rises 37%

Councils across England are providing temporary housing for around 120,540 children with their families – a net increase of 32,650

Councils across England are housing the equivalent of an extra secondary school of pupils per month as the number of homeless children in temporary accommodation soars, according to local government leaders.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said councils are providing temporary housing for around 120,540 children with their families – a net increase of 32,650 or 37% since the second quarter of 2014.

Related: Homeless in Britain: ‘I graduated with honours – and ended up on the streets’

Related: Homeless teachers: ‘I wouldn’t talk about it, I was so ashamed’

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness

Australia's social housing stock one-sixth empty with 195,000 people on waitlist

Change in social housing demand being driven by singles and couples for whom most properties are too large

One-sixth of Australia’s social housing stock was left partially empty last year, while 195,000 people languished on waiting lists, new data show.

The data, released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, suggests Australia’s social housing stock is ill-suited to meet the changing demographic of tenants.

Related: Government urged to prioritise housing affordability for low-income Australians

Related: Rental affordability at crisis point for low-income families before the budget | Greg Jericho

Related: ‘It’s public housing or my car’: Longriver and the caravan park residents facing homelessness

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Source: The Guardian: Homelessness