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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2007): Homelessness - UK

Bad medicine

T. Marshall

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2007, p. 35-37

Homeless applicants who are vulnerable due to old age, mental illness or physical disability must be housed by local authorities. However some local authorities, seeking to meet government targets for reduction of numbers of homelessness acceptances, have begun using assessments from a company called NowMedical to dismiss applications.

Poison pill

T. Marshall

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2007, p. 23-25

Home owners struggling with mortgage arrears are turning to sale-and-rent-back schemes. Companies operating these schemes will buy the mortgaged property and grant sellers an agreement that allows them to remain as tenants. Often the price paid for the property is only a fraction of its market value, and the tenancy agreement is practically worthless, with tenants facing huge rent rises or eviction a few months later.

See you in court

C. Hunter

Roof, Nov./Dec. 2007, p. 38-39

A homeless applicant must be in priority need to qualify for assistance under part 7 of the Housing Act 1996. This includes persons who are vulnerable due to old age, mental illness or handicap or physical disability. However, the definition of vulnerability has been contested in the courts. Most reported cases have focused on whether those with mental health problems are or are not vulnerable.

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