London has more legal matters to do with housing than other towns, and this morning, one made it to The Independent. It is a case that will probably also turn up at the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal rejected the appeal last week, paving the way for similar cases.
Is London carrying out social cleansing by relocating its poorest? Particularly some areas of London seem to keep making negative headlines in this respect.
London earlier caught the revealing glare of the spotlights when it was found to be introducing social apartheid by making poorer tenants use other doors than wealthier tenants in the same building (see the item in The Guardian). I hope that someone decided to sue the city over that, meanwhile.
You can read the article about the case of the family that is asked to move 50 miles (80 km):
Another case coming up soon is Hotak v London Borough of Southwark. This case centres on the question “Is a vulnerable person still a vulnerable person in terms of housing needs if he has a family member to look after him?”
The background is more or less the opposite of bedroom tax craziness. Two brothers were living with a friend; one brother was looking after the other. The two were informed that this was overcrowding, and that they had to leave.
So they applied for housing assistance. The council agreed that they were “unintentionally” homeless, but the council didn’t consider the vulnerable brother a priority because his brother looks after him. (That essentially is a go-ahead for making them both homeless.)
The vulnerable party has learning difficulties, has self-harmed and has had symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He relies on his brother to be able to cope with life, including matters of personal hygiene.
While reading three of Nelson Mandela’s (auto)biographies, I noticed some similarities with how the UK treats (oppresses) a large group of its population. I was not sure what to think of it, and a bit hesitant, held back by not wishing to offend anyone who’s endured apartheid in South Africa, to dare compare the situations.
Now this turns up.
Apartheid in the UK is a reality (article in the Independent). Here is the link to the initial article in the Guardian.
Note the sharp contrast between the US and the UK. On paper, Britain and the US may have similar degrees of inequality, but in reality, very little is similar about it.
This appalling craziness has got to stop. We badly need more equality in the UK. Real equality.
As the main driver for this inequality appears to be the urge to accumulate more money by those who already have plenty, there have to be financial motives behind the UK’s inequality. So, is the UK deliberately – habitually – keeping a large group of people poor enough so that it has a buffer of powerless people it can milk and starve whenever the economy tanks, or what? (The answer to that is “yes”.)
There is money in these “poor doors”, a lot of money.
There is nothing wrong with money. The problem is the feudal thinking. The service charges argument is bullshit. That can be solved some other way.
Someone might consider sueing London over this. Its planning committee made this possible, and signed off on it.
(This is not the “pepperpotting” Ken Livingstone had in mind!)
A better step? Reverse the situation! Make the entire building affordable living on the condition that a few rich folks get to live in it as well.