MP calls for action to reduce homeless total - The Evesham Observer

MP calls for action to reduce homeless total

Evesham Editorial 6th May, 2019   0

EVESHAM’s MP has called on the Government to do all it can to ensure there are fewer people on the street after meeting with bosses from the UKs largest housing and homelessness charity, Shelter.

Nigel Huddleston made the call after he attended the event in Parliament to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness in towns across the UK including Evesham.

The charity hopes to shine a light on the discrimination against people on benefits when applying to rent a private property.

A third of people receiving housing benefit said they couldn’t rent a home due to the ‘No DSS’ policy of some landlords which refers to people who receive housing benefits.

Although not explicitly illegal, ‘No DSS’ adverts can breach the Equality Act 2010 as it can be a form of indirect discrimination against women and disabled people who are statistically more likely to receive housing benefit.

Research by Shelter into the ‘prejudice’ has found 36 per cent of landlords who use an agent were discouraged by letting agents. A further 18 per cent said they heard stories on social media and other landlords, but most prejudice was based on preconceptions about the character of tenants receiving housing benefits.

“What this all really means is it becomes a never-ending circle between landlords, letting agents and mortgage providers which ‘freezes out’ those on housing benefits,” a Shelter spokesperson said.

Speaking after the event in Parliament, Mr Huddleston said: “We need to do everything we can to ensure less people on the street and that means making it easier for those receiving housing benefits to find somewhere to rent.

“Discrimination in any sense and in any place is completely unacceptable and this study led by Shelter has really highlighted the problems and prejudices that have come out of the private property sector.

“I hope we can learn from these statistics and try and counteract these bad housing experiences,” he added.


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