William Eichler 19 December 2018

Essex councils warn of problems with rehousing London’s homeless in the county

Essex councils warn of problems with rehousing London’s homeless in the county image

Essex council leaders have written to the Mayor of London highlighting concerns over homeless people from the capital being rehoused in the neighbouring county.

The letter, which has also been sent to London council leaders, warns of a lack of communication between London authorities and Essex councils informing them of people being moved into the area.

Signed by the Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group, the letter also says families are being placed in inadequate housing and raises the issue of the impact the rehousing has on local services.

It also warns of cases where families have been moved far away from support networks such as friends, family and jobs, meaning their situation can actually worsen.

‘We understand why people want to come to Essex, which is a fantastic place in which to live, work and visit, and we don’t want to stop people moving to the county,’ said Neil Stock, leader of Tendring District Council and chairman of the Essex Leaders and Chief Executives Group.

‘However, this needs to be in the right way and because people want to move here, not because they are being forced to or financially encouraged to by their London council as way of removing a problem.

‘We have had cases in my own district of Tendring where families with young children have been placed in poor quality accommodation with no furniture, or two hours away from their job in London meaning they have to move back and sofa surf during the week just to maintain their income.

‘So far efforts by individual Essex councils to draw this to the attention of London Boroughs and the Mayor of London have largely been ignored, which is why as a group of leaders we have taken the decision to send this letter.

‘We now hope that those in power in London sit up and take notice, and work constructively with us to resolve these issues.’

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