Saturday, 7 September 2013

Barnet outsources its homeless families

First all all thanks to Cllr Julie Johnson for asking a question at next week's Council meeting. They have published the questions and the written responses and this one in particular caught my eye (Question 41).

"How many homeless families have been placed outside the Borough since 2009? And for how long?"

The response is quite shocking. In the first three months of this financial year 477 households were placed in temporary accommodation outside the borough compared to 519 household for the whole two year period 2009/10-2010/11.

Looking at the table it is apparent that this problem started escalating after the last election and has shown a relentless rise. Based on the current trend, it looks like this financial year more than 2,000 families will be placed in temporary accommodation outside the borough compared to just 202 in 2009/10, a ten fold increase.

Cllr Davey's response looks incredibly complacent  - well most of those families have been accommodated in Brent, Enfield, Hackney and Haringey with 110 families have been rehoused further afield. No mention of why the problem has escalated so dramatically or what steps are being taken to resolve the problem.

It looks like, along with the Councils services, they are now outsourcing homeless families too, convenient in the run up to the elections.


  1. Let me suggest that it's not reasonable to lump the use of out-borough temporary accommodation with Barnet's programme of outsourcing services. At least not without more evidence.

    This is clearly a much wider problem. On 5 September 2013 Shelter quoted Government figures showing "Number of families living in B&Bs at 10-year high".

    As I'm sure you know, London boroughs have been "exporting" homeless people for years. Usually to places where the costs of accommodation are lower and especially when people have no local connection.

    The lack of truly affordable homes is an appalling situation and has been called a "housing crisis" for so long that the phrase has become devalued.

    Let's also not forget the surge in people sleeping rough.
    In Tottenham people are rough sleeping in parks, disused pram sheds and garages.

    It seems we learn and change nothing.

    1. Hi Alan, Yes I know London boroughs have been exporting families for year but what we are faced with in Barnet is a 10 fold increase in three years. Equally the fact that we have done it historically does not make it right. What I would also say is that in the same list of questions there is a response which notes that there are 3,016 empty properties in Barnet. I'm not sure some of politician learn at all, because frankly they just don't care.

    2. accommodations in the neighbouring boroughs are not really cheaper then in Barnet. the issue is I suspect, is to send as many people as possible, who are unlikely to vote tory out of the borough.
      Cornelius already declared that he does not want people on benefits around.

  2. Ron,

    We have to understand the psychology and strategy of our enemies.

    If you do not look at the actual situation as it is, and are not yourself looking for solutions, then you will seriously misjudge the other side, and also, of course, take us no nearer to solving the problem.

    On the Baps Active list I have published ma document with my ideas on this.

    I am sorry for its inordinate length,but if you can be bothered reading it I would be grateful for your comments. thanks.