Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Universal Credit: 70% Rise in Severe Rent Arrears.

Rent arrears for Tenants - How to avoid them - Slater & Brandley

Steep Rise in Arrears Amongst Universal Credit Claimants.

Rough sleeping remains a problem.

A day out with Derby’s rough sleepers and homeless people Derbyshire Live. October the 13th 2021.

Derby’s rough sleepers have complex problems

There are many initiatives to help with this ( How Ipswich is breaking the cycle of homelessness) , though doubtless not enough given the deep rooted causes of homelessness and the years of government neglect and a benefit system not fit to deal with people’s needs.

It looks as if more of those on benefits, are threatened with homelessness (which does not mean we will see all of them on the streets).

The cause is not their “complex problems”.

A few days ago Welfare Weekly carried this story,

Universal Credit: Homelessness fears as figures show a 70% surge in severe rent arrears.

New Government figures published today (Wednesday) reveal a 70% increase over six months in the number of renters on Universal Credit who are struggling with severe rent arrears.

The figures reveal that 190,000 low-income renters on Universal Credit in England are at least two or more months behind on their rent, with a leading homeless charity warning that a growing number of families teetering on the “brink of homelessness”.

This is striking,

Housing Benefit rates (and the housing costs component of Universal Credit) have been frozen since April this year. This means the rents are no longer linked to market rents, at a time when families and individuals up and down the country are struggling to cope with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Story got coverage:

The Stop Mass Homelessness campaign, led by Big Issue founder Lord Bird, launched in July this year in response to spiralling debts and soaring poverty which threatens to push thousands into homelessness this autumn.

“We are literally adding fuel to the fire,” he said in response to soaring energy bills and rising poverty. “We need to keep people in their homes, or face the costly reality of a mass homelessness crisis as people are forced to choose between paying the rent or the bills.”

And, in full circle, we come back to rough sleeping:

Written by Andrew Coates

October 16, 2021 at 9:28 am

57 Responses

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  1. jj joop

    October 16, 2021 at 10:03 am

    • Does any one know how I can upload a photo onto this page instead of the link please.

      jj joop

      October 16, 2021 at 10:28 am

    • I can’t see it properly jj, not good enough to read anyway.

      trev

      October 16, 2021 at 11:48 am

      • @trev

        1. Right click on link.

        2. Left click on: “Open link in new tab”.

        3. Left click on photo.

        4. To enlarge: left click on photo again.

        Let me know how you get on.

        jj joop

        October 16, 2021 at 3:47 pm

      • @trev- It seems to be something about research into benefit claimants ? But you’re right, it’s almost impossible to read, even if you magnify it. Personally I’d be cautious about submitting details to something like this. Depending on who was doing it of course. And if the information was going to be used anonymously, and not shared with the DWP.

        Jeff Smith

        October 16, 2021 at 4:40 pm

  2. The arrears and homeless situation were bound to happen, I’m an unemployed nobody and I saw it coming, how come the Politicians, Mps, Government Ministers, financial advisers and economists didn’t? How much are they getting paid, 80+ Grand for sitting on their arses? £300+ per day for the Lords. Come on get off your arses and sort the bloody country out ffs, that’s what you idle incompetent bastards are paid to do!

    trev

    October 16, 2021 at 11:54 am

    • Make everyone on unemployment benefit a Lord, then they can have the extra money. Easily done if you just have a virtual chamber online.

      George M

      October 16, 2021 at 2:57 pm

      • @George M – Good idea Lord George, but somehow I can’t see the Tories going for it.

        Jeff Smith

        October 16, 2021 at 4:42 pm

  3. My own living situation is relatively cheap compared to some, as a single person with my rent covered by Housing Benefit and the relevant deduction in Council Tax. I no longer have Gas and my Electricity is paid directly to the landlord via an ancient coin meter that takes the old One Pound coins! It works out fairly cheap in comparison to having a proper supplier’s prepayment meter in my own name. I got a reduction on my Water because I requested a meter and they were unable to install one. Having said all that, I’ve noticed recently, over the last few months, that my money is not going as far as it did. My £74 p/w JSA is no longer enough on which to live, even in my favourable situation, and I am struggling now to make ends meet. I don’t have a internet connection or a TV Licence. I have a £10 monthly phone deal with internet. I’m not living lavishly by any means but am better off than some, and I don’t have kids to feed and clothe. But like I said, life is definitely not getting any easier.

    trev

    October 16, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    • I got my fortnight’s JSA yesterday (Fri.) and today (Sat.) I have £30 left to last the next two weeks. And I’m not a drinker, drug user, or smoker. I don’t gamble or use prostitutes. I don’t go to pubs, cafes or restaurants. No one can adequately live on £74 per week in this day & age.

      trev

      October 16, 2021 at 2:32 pm

  4. Tories: You were warned by the Council of Europe as far back as 2014 that UK State Benefits are inadequate but you chose to DELIBERATELY make the situation even worse.

    Level of UK benefits inadequate, says Council of Europe

    This article is more than 7 years old

    Iain Duncan Smith says it is ‘lunacy’ for Strasbourg to suggest welfare payments need to rise

    “The level of UK benefits paid in pensions, jobseeker’s allowance and incapacity benefit is “manifestly inadequate” because it falls below 40% of the median income of European states, according to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/29/uk-benefits-inadequate-council-of-europe

    Debt, poverty, homelessness, all brought to you deliberately by choice of a succession of Tory Governments. By choice, not by chance. Call it Class War.

    trev

    October 16, 2021 at 5:07 pm

  5. Food for thought for all those struggling to pay the rent and keep a roof over their heads, and all those facing repossession or eviction….

    The Pandora papers have exposed the ‘for sale’ sign hanging over Britain

    Margaret Hodge

    “The UK property market is being abused to the tune of billions of pounds by those wishing to hide wealth or launder money”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/06/pandora-papers-property-for-sale-britain-launder-money

    trev

    October 16, 2021 at 7:15 pm

  6. I got an email from the Jobcentre about Xmas jobs. It’s not worth taking any temporary work if you’re still on JSA as it would mean having to claim Universal Credit when the work ends, and who in their right minds wants to do that? It’s also not worth changing address either, even if you have problems with damp (like me), and there’s no point in me moving anyway as I wouldn’t find anywhere cheaper to live than this unless I lived in a tent in the woods. I don’t plan on moving until I retire.

    trev

    October 17, 2021 at 10:39 am

    • @trev- Plus the 5 week wait for any money, or borrow it in advance and then get virtually nothing to live on
      for months afterwards. ( Another little nudge in the direction of work ). Not forgetting the inquiry into whether the job was / or could have been permanent. What efforts you made to ask for permanent work with the employer etc. Three years ago, a friend of mine was questioned for about 20 mins after having completed a Christmas job. About what he had done to ask the employer to keep him on in a permanent role. And how many times he had asked him about this !

      Jeff Smith

      October 17, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      • That’s bloody ridiculous, they state that it’s a temporary job right from the start, the Royal Mail for example, or Boots, even supermarkets, say quite clearly that job is only for X number of weeks or to a specific date. Most of the ones they sent me were for Retail, which I have no experience or interest in. One was in Primark, they want young uns for that.

        trev

        October 17, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      • @trev- Yes, as I remember this was at a supermarket. An over-zealous Work Coach, but typical of the attitude that some of them have got. That the unemployed should be constantly hassling people to see if they can get work. Of course from the Jobcentre point of view, if they can get people to keep on going ”Can I please have a job ?”, then someone might actually give them a job.

        Jeff Smith

        October 17, 2021 at 4:15 pm

      • That’s like going back to the 1970s…

        trev

        October 17, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      • superted

        October 17, 2021 at 6:18 pm

      • Being expected to badger an employer for more work if your take home pay is less than 35 hours on the minimum wage is a requirement for universal credit claimants same as the 35 hours work search. It is actually the law of the land! Basically if you receive UC, are working but not raking an income equal to at least 35 hours on the minimum wage you are expected to badger your employer for more hours on a regular basis, look for a job that pays better than your current job and leave your current job once you have found it, or secure additional part-time jobs to increase your pay beyond the UC taper as soon as possible. In practice of course these requirements are meaningless because unless you spend time not working doing work search supervised at the Jobcentre, or some other venue, it’s impossible for anybody to actually know what you’ve been up to during the week and as far as I know Jobcentres don’t ring bosses to check up to see whether or not they’ve been begging for more hours from them like some latter day Oliver Twist with his bowl.

        Stephen

        October 18, 2021 at 1:00 pm

  7. Universal credit: Shrewsbury window cleaner helps stranger as uplift ends

    “A window cleaner has pledged to give a stranger £20-a-week for the next six months to help them after the universal credit uplift ended.

    Jay Hall, from Shrewsbury, said he struggled earlier in life with money and wanted to give something back.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-58911111

    trev

    October 17, 2021 at 10:47 am

  8. “Insolvency experts predict more companies will fail in the coming months as business costs rise and government support wanes”

    Business insolvencies rise as government aid wanes

    BBC News

    “The number of businesses that failed in England and Wales last month was the largest since the Covid pandemic began.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58932615

    trev

    October 17, 2021 at 10:57 am

  9. Here’s what the Covid inquiry didn’t tell you – being poor was like a death sentence

    Owen Jones

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/14/covid-poor-people-uk-government-tories-died-in-thousands

    trev

    October 17, 2021 at 12:34 pm

  10. Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .

    A6er

    October 18, 2021 at 6:17 am

  11. Here’s why everything is going to be so expensive this winter

    The Big Issue

    “Brits are facing unaffordable fuel bills, expensive groceries and stagnant pay. Here’s what you need to know about the UK cost of living crisis.”

    https://www.bigissue.com/news/politics/heres-why-everything-is-so-expensive-now-uk-cost-of-living/

    trev

    October 18, 2021 at 6:23 am

  12. Coming soon, your full name will appear when posting anything on line, anywhere.

    I guess many people will dissapear from the internet.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/priti-patel-suggests-scrapping-anonymity-25233156

    xclausx

    October 18, 2021 at 9:17 am

    • Or everyone will change their names by deed poll to Priti Patel.

      trev

      October 18, 2021 at 10:31 am

    • Easier said than done

      To insure a person is that person would wipeout two of the major premises of the internet being convenience and immediacy.
      That aside the worlds leaders would have to agree to hit the total reset button on the internet to have any chance of anything near workable.
      As this is highly unlikely to happen on so many grounds means government is more likely to go down the route of shifting the onus onto the website.
      Problem is sites already ask for details but as yet lack the access to be able to verify the person is who they say they are. The closest thing we have currently is a EU law that mandates a website selling anything must take personal details before allowing a sale and then pass it on to a central database.
      So maybe we will get a catch you later if we can attempt to circumvent the issues of convenience and immediacy.
      Maybe government will go down the provider route.

      I guess we will all have to wait and see what actions come from governments mouths.

      Doug

      October 19, 2021 at 8:29 am

  13. More will no doubt follow on this breaking story:

    Andrew Coates

    October 18, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    • They’ve been after this since the start of Universal Credit, eventually all the benefits will be amalgamated with it. So as a claimant you will either be on Universal Credit ( unemployed ), Universal Credit ( Disabled / Sick ), or Universal Credit ( Pension / Retired ). – Truly one dole to rule them all.

      Jeff Smith

      October 18, 2021 at 12:38 pm

      • Isn’t this just in Wales where they’re considering the merging of Benefits? Should do it UK-wide, merge it all together, scrap Conditionality, and call it ‘Basic Income’.

        trev

        October 18, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    • The proposed merger between UC and PIP seems to be all about preventing people from getting PIP, I reckon that’s what it’s all about.

      https://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/1503125/dwp-pip-universal-credit-conservative-conference

      trev

      October 18, 2021 at 2:57 pm

      • @trev- Probably right Trev, that and making it tougher to go on the new benefit.

        George M

        October 18, 2021 at 3:05 pm

  14. Giving the rent to the claimant to pass on to the landlord was always going to result in people dipping into it when they were a bit short.

    Off topic, I appear to be getting spam texts. I received a couple from amazon prime and google services welcoming me as a customer with verification codes all it appears through my phone number. I would never sign up to those and would never buy anything online.

    Rob

    October 18, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    • Rob, spam texts and calls happen when you put your phone number on your CV then upload your CV online. If you’ve got a CV on any website such as CV Library, Indeed, etc. make sure your settings are to hide CV and not make it publicly available. Or remove your phone number from CV.

      trev

      October 18, 2021 at 1:41 pm

  15. well the list for today at the jcp had less than 20 ppl on it no one was in there when i went and in and out in 5 mins.

    it is just a waste of 4 quid on bus fair to show them 2 bits of paper they cant even check.

    superted

    October 18, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    • I’ve been saying that for a long time. The Jobcentre is a waste of space and has no real purpose or reason to exist. It’s obsolete. They’ve even dispensed with the requirement for people to sign-on, that was their only function to perform. So what’s the point of Jobcentres? Why are the Taxpayers paying a fortune to keep these places open? It’s time the DWP were forced to answer these questions and were brought to account.

      trev

      October 18, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    • I’m still having telephone appointments. I have had only 3 face-to-face appointments since March last year.

      jj joop

      October 18, 2021 at 3:52 pm

  16. Has everyone here at least been contacted by the jobcentre by now? I’m on JSA and I haven’t heard shit since March last year, only contact I’ve had is to do an annual verification. I thought they might contact me after furlough ended and they were supposed to be fully opening the jobcentres again, but nope nothing. I’m not sure they’ll contact me this year at this rate, maybe in the spring….

    NoOneInParticular

    October 18, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    • I was having telephone signing appointments for a while then they started giving me face-to-face (fortnightly) appointments a few months ago, so probably been in contact for about at least 6 months. It’s completely pointless though in my opinion they could have continued to phone me once every two weeks, or just send the payments automatically anyway without even calling. Now that I go in person they no longer require a signature, just ask me to confirm d.o.b. and address, no actual proof required, then ask to see how I’ve recorded my jobsearch, then here’s your next appointment and off you go. Total waste of time and taxpayers money. Jobcentres are obsolete.

      trev

      October 19, 2021 at 11:40 am

  17. I got that research benefit letter today. I put it straight in the bin.

    Big bird

    October 18, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    • I’ve not had one.

      trev

      October 18, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    • Same here. Slung it!

      jj joop

      October 18, 2021 at 3:49 pm

  18. Workcoach must want a lie in this week, I’m having telephone appointment instead of face 2 face👏👏

    Big bird

    October 18, 2021 at 5:21 pm

  19. I’m back on telephone appointments it’s much better as I don’t have to fork out £5 to get there just to get interrogated by the Gestapo 🧐

    Cloverleaf

    October 18, 2021 at 5:44 pm

  20. Andrew Coates

    October 18, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    • Andrew Coates

      October 18, 2021 at 9:35 pm

      • trev

        October 18, 2021 at 10:07 pm

      • dont make a uc claim online simple as that and do it over the phone.

        do not give the dwp a email address or phone number then this sort of crap cant happen.

        you do not need a phone number or email address to claim uc the digital service is a rope round your neck as thats what they wanted from the start with digital compliance and sanctions at the push off a button if a task is not met or completed to there satisfactions ie dictating what you must do when no law to support there actions as demanding personnel data sent in a way they dictate or else! er fuck off.

        why would i even buy a local paper it is all online i have no passport or id card and my nokia 3310 does not have the internet or a camera.

        if my cannon printer runs out of ink i cant even use the fkn scanner as wont work unless it has ink in all carts to force you to buy new ones.

        you wont own anything but you will be happy, even my fkn washing machine needs a app to work and the fkn printer or you cant set up the wifi unless you have a smart phone.

        now that is a washing machine fuck you software control 😉

        superted

        October 18, 2021 at 10:08 pm

      • Just had to check it’s not April 1st. This is incredible. Completely beyond the pale. If Starmer doesn’t call them out over this matter then there really is no hope.

        trev

        October 18, 2021 at 10:14 pm

      • i have been telling you all for years all you got left is the control of your personnel data as soon as you give this away in one way or another you are screwed.

        providers on the restart programme now want every hing including cvs medical data phone numbers email and bank account numbers to get the bus fair back and with there portals and log in and accepting the term and conditions means that provider is independent from the dwp and the sole controller of such data when contracts are signed and log in is completed either way you are fucked if you comply.

        superted

        October 18, 2021 at 10:26 pm

      • There are measures that seem fairly reasonable, requests and requirements for certain types of ID, Birth certificate for example, or passport /Driving Licence, rent book or tenancy agreement perhaps, but asking people to pose outside their home holding newspapers and street signs is so far from being reasonable that it is fucking insane. What next, wear a pink carnation and carry a copy of the Times under your arm? We’re not living in post-war Berlin ffs.

        trev

        October 18, 2021 at 11:09 pm

      • 14500635_1139276779493579_7768184268266297583_o

        lawnmower man

        superted

        October 19, 2021 at 12:54 am

      • Now that is so odd i have to question has anyone received this message in any manner ?

        Doug

        October 19, 2021 at 7:47 am

    • What happens if you have no photo id? Millions of people don’t. Soon you’ll only be able to vote in elections if you have acceptable photo id and if you don’t have a passport or photocard driving license are supposed to get an acceptable identity card from your local authority by means of an application. As there is next to no voter fraud in the UK this is obviously a ploy to suppress the vote amongst people who have no photo id basically people who don’t go abroad or drive, i.e., poorer citizens, many of whom won’t bother to go through the rigmarole of getting passport photos done and countersigned as genuine by an “acceptable” individual, who knows them well, and applying formerly for an official voter id card from their council excluding themselves from general and local elections forever more.

      There goes democracy folks.

      Stephen

      October 19, 2021 at 9:20 am

  21. superted

    October 18, 2021 at 10:31 pm

  22. How does 1 death leads to hysteria

    While my heart goes out to the family of the MP, his death is being used to fan the flames and declare war in an over reaching manner.
    Get ready for the word domestic terrorist because this is how the war on terror is now being framed.

    There is a saying if you cant handle the heat yet government wants to flip it that they can have their cake and eat it. The police and armed forces dont get body guards so wouldn’t it be more cost worthy to simply supply protective vests and helmets.
    Its ludicrous to think you can hold a certain position of power and it comes without risk. A minister like a police person should make a conscious decision to understand they must be willing to accept these risks before becoming such. Not just while serving but also moving forward in life once their tenure is up.

    Further to this is yet another stab at the internet which is fruitless as the job is easier said than done and will yet again disenfranchise the millions who dont play a part in bad behavior online or off.

    Lastly its quite incredulous while hundreds die a day of covid that one person can hold the mind of media such that he adorns near all the front pages the second running. Wheres the respect for a society just as deserving.

    Doug

    October 19, 2021 at 8:58 am

  23. The media is silent as MP’s will vote on removing your rights and freedoms for another 6 Months!

    Cloverleaf

    October 19, 2021 at 12:19 pm


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