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Homelessness – Government Striking a Balance
I hope I don’t get fired for writing this hub but as usual I’ll write from my heart.
I live in the UK and the government are generous with Benefits.
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing benefit
- Child benefit
- Family Tax Credit
- FREE National Health Service etc
In some places you even get paid to learn. Years ago, my Training Centre used to pay learners £10 every week for attending FREE English Classes. (Govt funded). That payment was on Friday, I tell you every Friday, everyone loved me. The minute I walked in the classroom, eyes lit up “hello Elena”. Hmmmh!! It was pay day and I felt like the Bank Manager.
Something I noticed about 9 years ago when I first started teaching Asylum seekers / Refugees English as a Second Language. (ESOL) was that, they would arrive in the Country and within weeks be given a 3 or 4 bedroom Council House which was paid for by the government – lucky for them.
To get a council house in London, you go on a list and then you are prioritised. If you are pregnant or have kids, or health problems, you go at the very top of the list but also if you are from a Country that has “war” i.e. an asylum seeker, you were also placed in that priority list. Hence, people (British Citizens) at the bottom of the list stayed there a long time, as there was always a priority.
Striking a Balance
I appreciate people have problems and anyone can be Homeless, but I feel the government should strike a balance in giving out council houses. Even if people are not sick or not asylum seekers they should be monitored on the waiting list and maybe a deadline should be given for allocation. Example, everyone to be given accommodation within xyz amount of days/weeks. While writing this Hub, I’m also watching a Homelessness documentary and it’s painful to watch.
A few days ago, there was a story about a somalian woman who has no right to live in Britain. It was ruled that she should be given a council house. This sparked some outrage.
“Mrs Ibrahim fled Somalia to Ethiopia with her family when she was 15. She married Mohamed Yusuf in Ethiopia before they moved to Denmark where he holds citizenship. They came to Britain 7 years ago. After eight months working as a bus driver, Mr Yusuf began living on benefits. This stopped in 2004 and he left the country. That ended Mrs Ibrahim's right to stay in UK and her right to receive benefits, but six years later, she’s on £1,000 a month through child tax credits, child benefits and child disability allowance".
My comments: Good for her, but the comments below are why I ask the Government to strike a balance.
“It means migrant families from Poland and other Eastern European countries will have a right to council housing and state benefits even if they have worked for only a brief period in Britain. It comes at a time of heavy demand for council housing from hard-pressed British families - and as ministers have been promising families in disaffected Labour heartlands that local people will have first call on council homes".
If you are interested in the Full story. Read Here
So, why did I write this?
Firstly, I think there should be a fair system. If, I miss a Mortgage payment, my "loving" Bank writes me and somewhere in print is “your home will be repossessed if you don’t keep up your payments”. So, anyone could be homeless at anytime. Oh! and they charge £35 just for sending me the letter. "tut, tut" .That could have been at least 10 enjoyable meals at McDonalds. There are a lot of real, intelligent, educated people living on the street. The most recent lady I heard speak, said she was homeless because of domestic abuse and she didn’t want to lose her life.
Secondly, society could start getting bitter with those who are not British and that includes our European neighbours. This is already happening especially now that a lot of people are losing their homes to repossession.
There is already animosity against companies employing foreign workers for jobs. Strike over Migrant workers
I hope I haven’t offended anyone while writing this and hope the Government do strike a balance when dealing with the Homeless in the UK.
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