The BBC are reporting that Homelessness has increased by 17% over the last twelve months.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14838969
In my town the Citizens Advice Bureau are saying housing is the fastest growing problem, all aspects of housing, whether mortgage difficulties, private landlords lettings or homelessness, this is a real cause for concern.
The CAB also say, the housing problem is growing and has the real likelihood of getting much worse, the housing market is so weak, it makes no sense for lenders to foreclose on mortgage defaulters or private landlords to cash in on their investments, their is also a fear that cuts to housing benefit and other benefits and a stagnant wage market will lead to further cuts in household budgets.
The government is about to further attack the under thirty five year olds currently 25-34 year-olds can claim housing benefit based on the cost of renting a one-bedroom flat. Under changes proposed by the Coalition, from 2012 they will only be able to claim enough for a room in a shared house. This is grossly unfair, if you are young and single, you've paid tax but fall on hard times you'll get less benefit than a thirty six year old that has never worked, for example.
If under thirty five year olds get less income, their risk of homelessness increases greatly.
Under section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act it is easy for a landlord to evict a tenant;
Rent is unpaid when the notice seeking possession is served, and at the time of the hearing for a Possession Order:
Rent is paid weekly or fortnightly and at least eight weeks' rent is owed.
Rent is paid monthly and at least two months' rent is owed.
Rent is paid quarterly and at least one quarter's rent is more than three months overdue.
Rent is paid yearly and at least three months' rent is more than three months overdue.
Rent which is lawfully due to the landlord has not been paid by the time the possession proceedings are started and was owed at the time the Notice seeking possession was served.
If a landlord has been offered money for rent by the tenant but has refused to take it, the tenant will have a defence in the possession proceedings.
The tenant has failed repeatedly to pay rent on time. There don't have to be rent arrears at the time possession proceedings started.
If a tenant makes themselves homeless by whatever means then local authorities can/will not rehouse.
I have reported the weakness of the construction industry, we have builders unemployed, we have a housing problem, we have a stagnant economy, we need a stimulus, it makes perfect sense to bring forward a plan to build affordable homes for people who need them.