Socialist Worker

Take on the Tories - disabled mother made homeless by the cuts speaks out

Issue No. 2456

Tory austerity is wrecking working class lives across Britain—and their latest assault will only make things worse.

Kath, a mother of one in Manchester, was made homeless after being hit by a string of Tory attacks. 

She told Socialist Worker, “When I was 22 I got offered a flat and I ran it for four years. I then had a baby and had to move into a house.

“I became disabled and my benefits started being sanctioned for no reason. My housing benefit got sanctioned also —they call it a suspension of housing benefit.

“And nobody informed me that you could claim housing benefit on no income, so I had no benefits for a very long time. That built up my rent arrears.”

Kath’s son was taken into the care of her mother—and Kath then became liable for the hated bedroom tax.

This snatches housing benefit from people who have “surplus” bedrooms.

“I ended up getting evicted for rent arrears,” she explained. “That’s how I’ve ended up at the homeless camp.”

The protest camp, of homeless people and supporters, was set up in April.

Protesters want to draw attention to the housing crisis and the plight of homeless people.

Kath said, “We want Manchester City Council to review the homeless assessment where they deem someone to be ‘intentionally’ homeless.”

Disgracefully, the Tory attacks on housing and benefits mean that stories such as Kath’s are becoming more common. But the assault has also sparked resistance across Britain—and this has the potential to push the Tories back.

As Kath put it, “We want them to stop the cuts. The housing crisis is getting out of control now. I want the government to be aware that lots of people are standing up for their housing rights and what they are doing is disgraceful.”

Thanks to Caroline Ridgway

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