Tory borough plans to move homeless away from London
Homeless people face being moved outside their local area into rented accommodation rather than being placed on a waiting list for council housing under plans considered by a flagship Tory borough in the capital, according to leaked documents (pdf) obtained by the Guardian.
Hammersmith & Fulham council admitted last week it was in talks, along with Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, to relocate 500 families on benefits to the Midlands – but said any agreement would not result in a large-scale exodus.
However, Hammersmith & Fulham's new strategy makes it clear that anyone claiming to be homeless will now be offered accommodation "potentially outside the borough" – a break with past policy which sought to offer the destitute a local home until they were allocated council housing.
This thinking extends to planning policy: more than 10,000 homes will be given planning consent in the borough this year, yet not one will be available to the poor on a social rent, even though mayor Boris Johnson's London plan requires a quarter of new developments to be available to those on low wages.
The authority admits its policy will "end the previously assumed link between a homelessness application and a social housing tenancy".
The council wants to prioritise "wealth creators" rather than the impoverished in its housing strategy. It claims it already has too many poor people living on social rents in the borough.
Hammersmith, which is influential with Downing Street, argues that 70% of tenants in social housing are "workless and dependent on benefits ... [and] not making a contribution that could help drive economic growth".
Hey, Hammersmith and Fulhamites - you know the area where you've grown up, worked and spent your entire lives? Well, thanks to gentrification, decades of wage repression and rampant house price inflation it's beyond your budget now, so kindly fuck off so we can fill it with people more likely to vote Tory. Toodle pip.