People in Oxford in urgent need of housing are being offered properties as far away as Cardiff and Birmingham by council officials.So..? If they really are in ‘desperate need’, they’ll take it, won’t they?
John McNulty, a solicitor for Oxford firm Turpin & Miller, is fighting to keep several families in the city and has accused city council officials of ‘dumping’ people outside the area.That’s generous of him. Doing it out of his own pocket, is he? Or are these people getting legal aid (on top of all the other benefits)?
Ah, well. Bring on the sob-stories!
Mother-of-two Elysha Britnell , 22, has been living in temporary accommodation controlled by the council in Cowley for two years, but was shocked when told she should move out of Oxford for the first time to live in Birmingham.
She says she has no family or friends outside of Oxford, and has never lived anywhere else.
She added: “I’m Oxford born and bred. If this appeal fails I’ll be completely homeless. I have got nowhere else to go. Even if I go to Birmingham, I may as well be homeless, because I have nobody there.”Oh, you seem like the type of girl who makes friends easily…
Single mum-of-two Lisamarie Richards was offered homes in Birmingham and Cardiff, before she says she was given a final offer in Cheltenham. She said she has until the end of the week to find somewhere else to live after her private landlord in Bampton Close, Littlemore, decided to sell his house.
Miss Richards, 32, said she spent months trying to find another home, but was priced out of the rental market.
Miss Richards, mother to Charlie, 11, and Oscar, one, said: “I will have no-one. I’ve never lived out of Oxford.
“It is heartbreaking to watch my son come home from school at night and cry.”You know what’s ‘heartbreaking’, Lisamarie? Looking at the eye-watering levels of tax we shell out to be squandered on people like you.
The council is, of course, in blame-avoiding and finger-pointing mode:
Scott Seamons, Oxford City Council’s board member for housing, blamed the cap on housing benefit. He said: “Due to cuts in the Local Housing Allowance, it’s become increasingly difficult to place people with private landlords in Oxford.
“There’s too much choice for landlords, so they’re refusing people on benefits.”Oh, if only people weren’t free to make a choice, Scott, eh?
He added: “Our first choice is absolutely to keep people in Oxford. I don’t want to see people being pushed out of the city. We’re doing what we can to build new houses. It’s the only way we’re really going to be able to make a difference.”Yes, let’s allow people to breed indiscriminately knowing that the taxpayer will pick up the tab and the council will bail them out with free housing!