Housing Advice Conference 2016


Z2K is delighted to invite you to book a place at the Housing Advice Conference 2016 on 11th November 2016. The Conference offers practical, up-to-date advice and guidance on the key recent developments in the world of housing advice from senior, experienced practitioners.

The Conference will be chaired by Joanna Kennedy, the CEO of Z2K, and the keynote presentations will be given by HH Jan Luba QC. Continue reading

JSA, Sanctions & Reasonable Adjustments

THE JOB CENTRE IN CAMBRIDGE  TODAY MARCH 14TH AS IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT UNEMPLOYMENT ROSE BY 28,000.As a complaint caseworker at Z2K, I regularly come across clients who have to claim Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) whist awaiting an outcome of their Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). MR has been with us since October 2013, but the same problems are always recurrent. Although new legislation has been brought in to implement the changes, regulations and policy have not caught up to add extra safeguards for clients. Of particular concern is the failure to detect and make reasonable adjustments within clients’ JSA claimant commitments. Continue reading

Families illegally placed in B&B on the increase

380_Image_child_povertyLast week’s official homelessness statistics revealed that the number of homeless families illegally placed in Bed and Breakfast accommodation beyond the six week legal limit has risen to 1,140.  This is the first time in a decade the number has been this high.  Astonishingly, three London boroughs are alone responsible for around one-third of those breaches of the law.  At the end of June, Croydon had 168 families in B&B longer than six weeks, Harrow had 120, and Redbridge had 132.

Unheralded research Shelter published last year reminds us why prolonged stays in B&B have been outlawed for families with children.  This is no place for a child recounts the experiences of twenty homeless families placed into emergency accommodation by their local authority.  In it, the parents describe the impact of the lack of space on their children, and the particular difficulties caused by having to use shared facilities at mealtimes and bedtime.  Many of those interviewed were clearly also worried about the safety of their children. Continue reading

Client helped back into his own home

landlord-eviction-rightsDave approached us in May at an outreach session to see if we can help him find accommodation as he had been street homeless since April. He also wanted assistance in getting his belongings back from his former home. On taking further instructions to determine why he was homeless it transpired he had a closure order on his assured tenancy. Dave has various health issues and was under the influence of local people who kept trying to gain access to his property and causing problems with his neighbours in the communal areas.

The result of this was that a closure order was made for 3 months. The landlord was also in the process of taking the property back under civil proceedings based on anti-social behaviour and rent arrears. The most important step to be taken was to get the local authority to accept a homeless person’s application whilst the closure order was in force and to stop Dave being street homeless again. We managed we achieved this after a short period of time. Continue reading