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Harlow Council leader joins forces with other leaders over London borough “dumping’ families across Essex

News / Wed 19th Dec 2018 at 06:35pm

HOMELESS families are being forced out of London and placed in inadequate housing far from familiy and friends, Essex council leaders have warned.

A letter sent to senior politicians in the capital has been signed by every Essex council leader and urges London boroughs to stop placing homeless families in the county as a way of “removing a problem”.

The councils raise 11 issues including a lack of communication from London authorities which leaves them unaware of people being moved into the area, families being placed in inadequate housing, and the impact on local services.

It also warns of cases where families have been moved far away from support networks such as friends, family and jobs, which they say makes the situation worse.

In Harlow there is a particular issue of the placement of homeless families into new, often unsuitable, housing that has been converted from office space to residential accommodation under permitted development rights. These developments are mainly in industrial areas where there no services around for residents.

Councillor Mark Ingall, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “It is disgraceful that London Boroughs are using Harlow to deal with their housing shortages, especially when the town has its own shortage of housing.

“London boroughs are forcing families to move miles away from their communities, their families, and friends and where their children go to school or place of work. For Harlow it puts additional pressure on already stretched local services like social services, health services and the hospital.

“The negative impact on families placed out of the area they live can be huge. This is particularly true for children and young people, because they are removed from familiar surroundings, extended family and friends, and their education is often interrupted and future potential impacted.

“Whilst we may have some sympathy for other councils and the issues they face with housing shortages and the cost of housing in their respective areas, this is not the solution.

“Our residents also hear about and see these things happening and, without the full facts, understandably get frustrated that accommodation in the town is not going to those from Harlow who need it. We are not against any families wanting to move to Harlow to start a new life. People move here every day and as a new town Harlow will always have a close association with London. However, what we are against is London boroughs using Harlow to ease their own housing shortages, and in the process moving people miles away from their families and their local communities against their wishes.

“We hope that as a joint voice those in power in London will start to listen and work with us all to tackle these issues.”

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1 Comment for Harlow Council leader joins forces with other leaders over London borough “dumping’ families across Essex:

MickyB77
2018-12-20 16:29:10

Who pays the rent for these people, and to whom ?

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