Stress, fear and homelessness: The threat looming over families confronted with eviction

These are the words of a frontline support worker dealing with families who have just been made homeless. At best shocked; and at worst outraged, the support worker, who asked to remain anonymous, goes on to explain how his local authority frequently informs families that, despite having been evicted through no fault of their own, they are ‘intentionally homeless’, meaning they are ineligible for priority rehousing.

This situation is not unique, however. Since 2018, a number of tenants have come forward to tell me they have experienced similar treatment. Jenny, a mother with three children, was told by her landlord to vacate her property, or face the threat of legal action.

“The owner wasn’t very nice to us, and started to make threats if we didn’t leave when he told us to,” she says. Faced with such a perilous choice, she presented as homeless to her local council. But Jenny was shocked to discover that despite leaving her property as instructed, she had ‘made herself homeless’ and was not deemed a priority.

thelondoneconomic Stress, fear and homelessness: The threat looming over families confronted with eviction