Saturday, January 25, 2014

We are still waiting to hear from West London Churches Homeless Concern about flat offer

In my blog of 3 January "We are refused a referral to a winter shelter", I mentioned a rolling winter night shelter programme run by West London Churches Homeless Concern (WLCHC). We enrolled in the programme three weeks ago and last Tuesday Declan was approached by a WLCHC caseworker about an offer of a flat for us made by the Single Homeless Project (SHP). I suspect it will come to nothing and on 10 April, when this programme finishes and we have nowhere to sleep except back in the Barbican, the police will finally get to arrest one or both us (see blog of 1 January 2014 "Declan calls into Bishopsgate Police Station for a crime intel report"). So Declan has decided to update his complaint to the United Nations under Article 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. SHP's flat offer is mentioned in draft paragraph 30:

On 7 January 2014, the applicant and his wife enrolled in a winter night shelter programme for rough sleepers run by the West London Churches Homeless Concern (WLCHC). Two days later, on 9 January, they turned up at Barnsbury Jobcentre of the Department for Work and Pensions to sign on for Jobseeker’s Allowance only to be told that the applicant’s joint claim had been terminated. Neither the applicant nor his wife has ever been issued with a letter of termination with or without appeal rights, and on 22 January the applicant filed a claim in the High Court for judicial review against Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith on the ground of procedural unfairness (see Annex 24, Department for Work and Pensions: Application for Judicial Review, pp. XX-XX) – it is noted in the applicant’s claim form that in late 2013 he was twice sanctioned on a new claim for jobseeker’s allowance that he never made. On 21 January, a WLCHC caseworker informed the applicant that the Single Homeless Project (SHP) could have a flat for him and his wife paid for by housing benefit if he could come up with £6,000 that would replace payments of jobseeker’s allowance for a year. The applicant expressed an interest in the proposition, believing that N4CM could be in a position to employ him for £6,000 pa through a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme set up by his accountant; but the SHP has yet to clarify the kind of paperwork they require from the applicant to make their offer of a flat a reality (see Annex 25, Single Homeless Project: Email to WLCHC re offer of a flat, pp. XX-XX).

In the previous blog, I published Declan's email to the WLCHC caseworker he was speaking with last Tuesday night before he bedded down with other rough sleepers in a church hall in Fulham. We have heard nothing further from the WLCHC on the matter, and have absolutely no idea whether SHP’s offer is even still on the table.