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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Statement on Shelter’s petition to save housing safety net

Every two minutes someone faces losing their home. Over the next six months, the UK Government is planning to pass laws that reduce what protection you have if your home comes under threat. The housing charity Shelter has launch a petition to oppose the worse of these changes and build the strong safety new we all need.

On signing the petition, Jean, who is the Green Party’s spokesperson on social affairs, said: “At a time of rising unemployment and financial hardship, the government’s proposed housing benefit reforms will only serve to force people out of their homes and away from their support network of friends and family to areas with fewer jobs. In London alone, the decision to remove the link between housing benefits and the housing costs people pay [1] will see the proportion of neighbourhoods affordable to low-income private tenants fall from 75 per cent to 36 per cent [2]. A further 70,000 of social housing tenants in London will see their benefits cut by an average of £21 a week because they are ‘under-occupying’ their property.

“Unable to afford their rents, where will these people go, who will they turn to for support? The government plans to scrap rules that mean your council has to find you a stable and secure place to live if you lose your home and restrict the free legal advice you would get if you couldn’t afford a lawyer.

“Shelter is a fundamental right, a stable address is a vital part of helping children reach their educational potential and important for accessing many training schemes and the possibility of gaining or retaining work. If the Government wants to reduce poverty, reduce social problems and improve children’s educational chances it has to make decent, stable housing a priority. This is achievable by investing in new social housing and making housing afforable, as my Green Party colleague and London Assembly member Jenny Jones has campaigned tirelessly to demonstrate, and by saving and strengthening the threatened housing safety net.”



[1] The Welfare Reform Bill proposes to update Local Housing Allowance by the Consumer Price Index

[2] Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research: