Benefit cap – ‘Real misery is being caused to no good purpose’

The Zacchaeus 2000 Trust welcomes today’s High Court ruling that the Benefit Cap unlawfully discriminates against lone parents with children under two years-old.  We hope this is the beginning of the end of a truly dreadful policy.  But given the Government’s swift announcement of its intention to appeal against the decision, thousands of lone parent families suffering this unlawful discrimination are still left facing severe financial hardship and homelessness while the legal tussle continues.  Continue reading

The Grenfell fire is a tragic reminder of why the voices of marginalised communities must be heard

Like so many people, I was horrified to wake up last Wednesday to learn about the fire at Grenfell Tower.  I was previously the Director at North Kensington Law Centre, and led the decision to move from our offices of 40 years in the Golborne Road, to the heart of the Lancaster West community into Baseline Studios.  A key part of the decision to do this was to be closer to the communities that most needed our legal help on housing, welfare benefits and immigration matters.  Knowing that many of our clients at NKLC were residents of Grenfell Tower left me extremely saddened by the news. Continue reading

Vacancy: Policy and Campaigns Officer

Full time: 35 hours a week

Location: Victoria and Queen’s Park

Salary: £28k pa plus pension

The Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (also known as Z2K) works to tackle the root causes of poverty and to address its impact on individuals.  We do this by combining campaigning and policy work, with casework advice and additional support services.  The communities that we work with face complex challenges, including low income, homelessness, mental health issues, learning and physical disabilities, immigration status issues, domestic violence, trafficking, addiction and debt.  The current focus of all our work is a fair and well functioning social security system that reduces the risk of destitution. Continue reading

Pimlico Advice Hub Case Study

Z2K is a partner in the Pimlico Advice Hub, along with the Cardinal Hulme centre and Westminster Foodbank, where we provide advice and support. The Hub is based in St Gabriel’s Hall on the Churchill Gardens estate in Pimlico. It was recently nominated for the best neighbourhood project award at the Westminster Community Awards.

Geoff and his partner approached the Hub in early 2016. The couple were facing eviction from their Council property due to rent arrears. The reason for this was that his Housing Benefit had stopped. They had recently started their own business, their own café. This had been their dream for years but the practicalities of starting the business had caused them many difficulties. They had had to take out a large loan to start up the business. As they couldn’t qualify for a business loan their bank had classified it as a personal loan. When the council realised they had the loan they stopped their Housing Benefit as it took them over the capital limits. The Council also made frequent and unnecessary requests pertaining to Geoff’s status as an EU national. Continue reading