Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Welsh law proves that early support prevents #homelessness #housing #solutions #housingcrisis #squatting #olsx #occupy #respace #reuse the 1.5 Million empty buildings in the UK #homes4all #nuitdebout #nightassembly #homes #land #freedom

Welsh law proves that early support prevents homelessness

Welsh law proves that early support prevents homelessness


Very impressive results in Wales are fueling calls for England to adopt a homelessness prevention law that obliges councils to help people in housing crisis
march with the homeless
A recent March with the Homeless in London 15th April highlighting homeless deaths
A list of landlords’ phone numbers would have been the only support Alice Rivers could have expected from her local council if she had become homeless a few years ago. But following trailblazing legislation in 2015, Welsh councils have transformed the way they respond to people who have been evicted, as well as those at risk of losing their home, by intervening earlier and more creatively to prevent homelessness. So when Rivers, 18, was recently thrown out of the family home after coming out as transgender, Flintshire council found her a place in a temporary “nightstop” and is now helping her to move on to a place of her own in north-east Wales.
“I was so worried – I thought the council wouldn’t be able to help,” says Rivers. “I burst into tears when they told me they could find me somewhere.”
Under the Housing Wales Act, all Welsh local authorities are now required to work with anyone facing homelessness, whether through family breakdown, rent or mortgage arrears or eviction, and to help all those who actually become homeless, rather than those who reach certain thresholds of priority need. According to Flintshire, it is an approach that has seen staff able to move from “tick-box” decision-making to a much more supportive role.
“With a case [like Rivers] we will now say, ‘Here’s a young person who’s got a job and can’t go home – what can we do?’, whereas a few years ago we might have been saying, ‘There’s a narrow gap to help – will we let them through?’” says Katie Clubb, the customer services manager in charge of Flintshire’s Housing Solutions service. There’s been a real culture shift, she adds, so that, where once the focus was on sifting out those such as young single people who were not considered a priority, now staff are able to focus on offering some help and advice to all those who get in touch.
Flintshire, which borders the English county of Cheshire, was piloting the preventive approach before it came into force in April 2015. It has been praised by Shelter Cymru for the way it has been prepared to spend its share of the Welsh government’s £5.6m implementation fund on a range of measures to prevent homelessness. The council’s £228,000 spending in the first year has included helping with rental deposits and letting agents’ fees, paying off rent and mortgage arrears for those who might otherwise be evicted, and funding support workers and an environmental health officer to help sort out poor housing conditions in the private rented sector. It has also paid for a Shelter Cymru caseworker to work alongside its own officers, so transforming the once adversarial relationship between those making the decisions on homeless applicants and those challenging them. “Rather than sending letters to each other, we are working together,” says Shelter Cymru caseworker Ashleigh Stevens. “It’s a real change of focus – it used to be very prescriptive, but we now cooperate on how to resolve each situation, and there’s buy-in from everyone.”
brighton homeless
A recent March with the Homeless protest 16th April in Brighton highlighting homeless deaths
Across Wales, initial results of the new approach are encouraging. While the number of households accepted as homeless in the last quarter of last year rose by 6% in England to 14,470, in Wales the number fell by some 67% to 405 in the same period. Lesley Griffiths, Welsh minister for communities and tackling poverty, says about two-thirds of those who have received help under the new legislation have successfully avoided homelessness. “The legislation is a UK first – it addresses the issues that cause homelessness and seeks to ensure that everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness gets the help they need to secure a stable home,” she says.
The success so far in Wales is fuelling calls for a similar homelessness prevention duty to be introduced in England. But isn’t it just easier to tackle homelessness in a smaller country like Wales where the pressures on housing simply aren’t so great? Not so, according to those on the Welsh frontline. Welfare reform and the bedroom tax have hit Wales particularly hard, adding to the problems of those who need to find a home they can afford. Simon Rose, housing needs manager at Newport council and chair of Wales’s homelessness network, says many areas in Wales including his own are struggling to meet the demand for social housing, while the private rented sector is becoming increasingly unaffordable. While the new prevention framework doesn’t solve those problems, it does give the council the flexibility to find new ways of helping people with their housing difficulties.
In Newport, that means the south Wales council, alongside offering rent deposits and clearing arrears, has even helped pay everyday bills in order to ensure one pregnant tenant could get settled in her home without the fear of running up debt. And, like Flintshire, Newport is also working closely with support services, and to ensure the most vulnerable people don’t get trapped in the revolving door of evictions, B&Bs or failed tenancies, which would end up costing the council more in the long run. “We estimate that for every pound we spend, we are saving £4,” says Rose. He adds that the new set-up gives housing officers much more autonomy to help people whatever their circumstances. “It changes the mindset of staff on the frontline,” he says. “They can now have an open and frank discussion with people about their options. It gives staff a bit more confidence in delivering – they become almost like salespeople in presenting the options.”
For someone like Anna Williams there is no doubt the new approach is working. Williams was helped by Rose and his team to avoid eviction after her marriage broke up and she was left with mortgage arrears. “Being a homeowner, I never thought I’d get the help I did. It was amazing,” she says. “I’m told councils in England don’t intervene till you’re on the doorstep and have got the bags in your hand, and that’s no good – you need help before that happens.”
wolverhampton homeless

Monday, 2 May 2016

TODAY RENT-STRIKE street party!! Demo! DJs! 6pm@UCL Main Quad,WC1E. Bring noise, banners, flares, friends! Rent strike's escalating, be rowdy!

  TODAY RENT-STRIKE street party!! Demo! DJs! 6pm@UCL Main Quad,WC1E. Bring noise, banners, flares, friends! Rent strike's escalating, be rowdy!

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Hi folks this Monday may 2nd 7.30 pm production meeting for the next evolution cabaret sat may 7th,at www.hivedalston.org.uk 260 Kingsland Rd e8 4dg Haggerston overland #cabaret #evolution #hivedalston

Hi folks this Monday may 2nd 7.30 pm production meeting for the next evolution cabaret sat may 7th,at www.hivedalston.org.uk 260 Kingsland Rd e8 4dg Haggerston overland please come or get in touch to help with the build up,set up and production /networking each day this week.lot of help needed,please share n network the cabaret,send me you're mail to get an emai ucan forward,let's make this one the best yet love Phoenix

Solutions Development group (FB group) at Hive Dalston 260-264 Kingsland Rd Dalston E8 4DG.Haggerston Overland.next tues 3rd,as well as 17th and 31st May 2-6pm.(flowing into Smart phone video activism 6-8pm )A group to discuss,brainstorm, produce and network Solution Zone TV

 Solutions Development group (FB group) at Hive  Dalston 260-264 Kingsland Rd Dalston E8 4DG.Haggerston Overland.next  tues 3rd,as well as 17th and 31st May 2-6pm.(flowing into Smart phone video activism 6-8pm )A group to discuss,brainstorm,
produce and network Solution Zone TV an Internet TV channel about Solutions.come and get involved,we really need to focus in May as we have been offered full support from Robert Watts the Star Wars producer and his wife Linda who wants our help with a new 4 acre garden centre/eco park in reading,where we can film and create solutions zone.network it love phoenix www.solutionszonetv.wordpress.com

DISOBEDIENCE Rise of the Fossil Fuel Resistance Movement #olsx #occupy #keepitintheground #renewables #fossilfuels #resistance #movement

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The B&B where cannabis is part of your stay - BBC News

The B&B where cannabis is part of your stay - BBC News

The B&B where cannabis is part of your stay

  • 27 April 2016
  •  
  • From the section Magazine
Flower being cut from a plant in the trim room. Medicine Man Denver (pot dispensary), Denver ColoradoImage copyrightAlamy
Colorado's cannabis industry is growing fast, with armoured cars full of cash a common sight on Denver's streets. But businesses are stuck in a legal no-man's land - state laws allow the drug to be sold, but federal laws still prohibit it. 
I am in a bed and breakfast, and it's Friday evening, Happy Hour. Drinks and nibbles are flowing freely, but there's something else - a sweet, sickly smell in the air. Yes I'm in Denver, the Mile High City, 1,600m in altitude, in Colorado, the first American state to legalise the consumption and sale of cannabis for recreational use, in 2014. 
That move has created a new industry - growers, stores, dispensaries, manufacturers and all sorts of ancillary businesses. Until recently this was black market, a criminal activity. Now it's a billion-dollar-a-year industry, paying $135m ($90m) in state taxes. 
After pot is harvested, the flower is cut from the plant in the trim room. Medicine Man Denver (pot dispensary), Denver ColoradoImage copyrightAlamy
Image captionA worker at a cannabis dispensary in Denver, Colorado
It all began in the year 2000, after a state-wide referendum changed the Colorado constitution to legalise the use and supply of marijuana for medical purposes. This was not a move led by politicians; the current governor is still opposed. But the people spoke and the legislators had to turn the decision into fact.

‎radicalhousingnetwork.org - TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE HOUSING BILL: #olsx #occupy #housing

‎radicalhousingnetwork.org

Have you heard about the Housing Bill?

The government is rushing the Housing Bill through parliament. It looks set to destroy social housing as we know it, forcing councils to sell off their homes, replacing lifetime tenancies with 2 year ones, introducing market rents for all but those on the lowest incomes and funnelling government support into unaffordable ‘starter homes’ rather than the new social housing we need. It will also make it easier for private landlords to evict their tenants, and remove provision for travellers. Read more about the problems with the bill here.

TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE HOUSING BILL:


  • Read and share the #StandardEvening future edition for more on how the Housing Bill will affect Londoners: standardevening.com
  • Sign the petition against the Housing Bill here

Revealed: government plans for police privatisation | UK news | The Guardian

Revealed: government plans for police privatisation | UK news | The Guardian

Revealed: government plans for police privatisation

West Midlands and Surrey police offer £1.5bn contract under which private firms may investigate crime and detain suspects
Street patrols could be handled by security firms under the government's police privatisation plans
 Street patrols could be handled by security firms under the government's police privatisation plans. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA
Private companies could take responsibility for investigating crimes, patrolling neighbourhoods and even detaining suspects under a radical privatisation plan being put forward by two of the largest police forces in the country.
West Midlands and Surrey have invited bids from G4S and other major security companies on behalf of all forces across England and Wales to take over the delivery of a wide range of services previously carried out by the police.
The contract is the largest on police privatisation so far, with a potential value of £1.5bn over seven years, rising to a possible £3.5bn depending on how many other forces get involved.

MPs: UK air pollution is a 'public health emergency' | Environment | The Guardian

MPs: UK air pollution is a 'public health emergency' | Environment | The Guardian

MPs: UK air pollution is a 'public health emergency'

Cross-party committee of MPs says the government needs to do much more to tackle the crisis, including a scrappage scheme for dirty old diesel cars
A face mask was placed Nelson’s Column on 18 April 2016 in a Greenpeace protest to highlight air pollution.
 A face mask was placed Nelson’s Column on 18 April 2016 in a Greenpeace protest to highlight air pollution. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Air pollution in the UK is a “public health emergency”, according to a cross-party committee of MPs, who say the government needs to do much more including introducing a scrappage scheme for old, dirty diesel vehicles.
The government’s own data shows air pollution causes 40,000-50,000 early deaths a year and ministers were forced to produce a new action plan after losing a supreme court case in 2015.