Preventing Homelessness in Reading

CEO blog February

Oliver had been in work all his life, at 60 he was made redundant. Unable to cope with the complexities of the benefit system he lost his accommodation. He ended up on the streets and was robbed of all his possessions.

He came to Launchpad supported accommodation over a year ago. He has worked hard at Launchpad, and has yet to find employment but is still looking. What he has been able to do, with Launchpad`s help is find a new place to live. He moved into his new flat last week and is now beginning his new life, good luck Oliver.

Homelessness is often a complex story and sometimes people see it as the person sleeping on the streets. However illegal evictions play a huge part in forcing people to sleep on friend’s floors or in bed and breakfast.

Last week a mother and her daughter turn up at 4pm at Launchpad. They had been informed by their rental agency and the owner of the property they were renting that they had to move out on Friday. The rental agency was sending texts to her telling her they would change the locks and lock her out of the property.

Launchpad`s solicitor Vnetta got involved in the case and contacted the rental agency. The agency immediately withdrew the threat of immediate eviction and stated they would not enter the property. The rental agency is now following the appropriate legal process for an assured shorthold tenancy. The reason for this quick eviction was they had a new renter who would pay a higher rent.

We need to stop no fault evictions, have a look at the Generation rent web site: www.generationrent.org

A few recommendations from me:

TV series of the month: My Brilliant Friend, a wondrous eight part series telling the life of two young girls growing up in Naples in the 1950s and 60s. Truly wonderful

Book of the month: Slumboy from the Golden City by Paul Joseph. The personal story of Paul Joseph and his fight for justice in South Africa during the terrible day of apartheid. He is also my brothers father in law, so a plug for a member of the family.

Article of the month: This article talks about the cruelty of Universal Credit, an uncaring system – Minor tweaks can’t address the deep, inhuman flaws of universal credit.