AT LEAST one in 10 landlords are ‘unlawfully’ advertising their flat for rent by saying that they do not accept tenants on housing benefit, homeless charity Shelter revealed yesterday.
The Irish Studies Centre at London Metropolitan University documents that in the post-World War II years home hunters were confronted with ‘No Irish Need Apply’ signs. In the post-Windrush period, this was extended to signs saying ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’. It was plain then that for the landlord class the enemy was either Irish or black.
Things have moved on today in what we are told is a multi-cultural society. The enemy for today’s landlord is neither Black nor Irish – it is the entire working class and its youth.
Today, class prejudice dominates. Signs now read, ‘No DSS!’ DSS stands for the Department of Social Security, an old phrase which simply means anyone on government benefits.
And we are not just talking about unemployed workers. A vast proportion of those who work rely on housing benefit to pay their rent. We have both the emergence of the working poor and the working homeless. We now have people with jobs living on the streets, or in shelters, sprucing themselves up in a McDonald’s toilet in the morning and then going in to work.
This is the enemy to the modern Rachman landlord! In an undercover investigation carried out by Mystery Shoppers Ltd, 149 regional letting agent branches were called by researchers posing as prospective tenants. A shocking one in ten had a branch policy not to let to anyone on housing benefit, regardless of whether they could afford the rent.
Meanwhile, housing benefit has been frozen while rents soar! Since April 2016, housing benefit has been frozen and will remain frozen until at least 2020, regardless of how much private rents have gone up in each local area. Private rents have been rising steeply year on year. Between 2011/12 and 2015 they rose in 79% of the country.
The latest figures reveal that housing benefit does not cover rents in 95 per cent of the country, pushing thousands of working class families into homelessness. The gap between welfare support and costs is more than £100 a month in much of England and in excess of £900 in central London.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘This ugly undercurrent of discrimination is wreaking havoc on hundreds of thousands of people’s lives. “No DSS” is an outdated and outrageous example of blatant prejudice. Private renting is now so expensive that many people simply can’t get by without some housing benefit, even if they’re working.’
And this is all before the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC). UC is a system which will make the situation ten times worse. Housing benefit will be paid into your account as one lump sum, along with all your other benefits. It is then up to you to decide to heat, eat or pay rent, because you do not have enough money to do all three.
Furthermore, you do not get your first payment for at least five weeks.
Even if you manage to beg, and borrow in order to survive over that period, landlords will not wait five weeks for rent and in the areas Universal Credit has been rolled out, evictions have soared.
The Tory government is deliberately driving working class families out of London, and on to the streets! They are trying to restore not just the immediate post-war Britain, they are seeking to drive the working poor back to the days of Charles Dickens!
Meanwhile, the number of workers commuting for more than two hours a day has increased by a third since 2008. Workers are being shifted out, decanted, to Ilford, Romford, Essex, Southend, Milton Keynes, and then forced to drive into London, or take the train every day to service the rich!
The working class is not going to be driven back to the slum conditions described in Jack London’s book about east London, ‘The People of the Abyss’. The new ‘abyss’ sees terraced houses split into seven flats; each room, with two or three people, all sharing one bathroom and toilet!
Everyone can see that the working class in Britain has had enough of austerity. Many people can sense that what is developing is a massive uprising of the working class.
The WRP is the only party that is consciously organising for the working class to take the power and establish socialism. Join it today.