Tenants face mass evictions

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TENANTS receiving housing benefit have been issued with eviction notices by the largest ‘buy-to-let’ private landlord in the country.

Fergus Wilson, who owns 1,000 properties in Kent, has sent out these notices to every benefit claimant whether or not they are in rent arrears and instructed letting agents that he will not accept any future applicant getting benefit.

Wilson spelt out the brutal economic doctrine of the private landlord, stating: ‘Rents have gone north, and benefit levels south. The gap is such that I have taken the decision to withdraw from taking tenants on housing benefit. From what I can gather just about all other landlords have done the same.’

Wilson made it clear that any humanitarian considerations had equally ‘gone south’ when he added, ‘Single mothers on benefits have been displaced to the bottom of the pile; sympathy for this group is disappearing.’

So single mothers and their children deserve nothing except to be thrown onto the streets in order that Wilson and his property ‘empire’ keeps raking in the profits.

This empire was built in the 1990s by him buying up vast numbers of new build properties financed by huge loans from the banks.

The main bank providing Wilson with mortgages was Bradford and Bingley, which in 2008 crashed and had to be nationalised by the then-Labour government. The mortgage arm of the bank still remains a nationally owned plc.

In other words, had Bradford and Bingley not been bailed out the Wilson property empire would have collapsed along with the bank.

He survived and thrived on the back of huge sums spent by the government, money that is being paid for daily by the working class through cuts in pay, benefits and jobs.

The obscenity of this is that the man who reviles single mothers as not being worth any sympathy, owes his entire fortune to the systematic plundering of the working class and the welfare state by the banks.

Wilson, of course, is not alone. As he points out, the majority of private landlords are now refusing to take on any tenant in receipt of housing benefit – a trend that is set to rise even further when the full effects of Universal Credit are felt and benefits are cut even further.

The nature of this housing crisis is so severe that the housing charity Shelter at the weekend issued a stern warning that Britain is witnessing the emergence of ‘benefit blackspots’ with people on benefits being forced to move out of the towns of their choice after being evicted from rented housing by private landlords.

They warn that entire UK communities could become ‘claimant-free zones’, with those on benefit being clustered in the least desirable locations throughout Britain, and forced into the worst quality housing.

Roger Harding, director of policy and communications at Shelter, said: ‘It is very worrying. If this policy continues over the long term, we will see blackspots in the country where people on housing benefit simply cannot find anywhere reasonable. There’ll be areas where, if you lose your job or become ill, and you try and fall back on housing benefit, it won’t be high enough for you to find somewhere. Unless you have savings, you’re going to move town.’

This is the fate that bankrupt British intends to impose on the working class, being driven onto the streets to starve in the gutter or shunted into ghettos and left to rot.

Workers and especially young people are refusing to accept this as a future.

The way forward is in the forcible expropriation of the parasitic banks and property speculators and the nationalisation of land and a massive programme of building social housing to ensure decent affordable homes for every worker and young person.

This can only be achieved by bringing down this government and advancing to a workers government that will implement a planned socialist economy.