Category Archives: Michele

PHASES, renovating empty homes into affordable rentals


Glen Heaton, project manager at PHASES

By Rooney John

PHASES (People Housing and Social Enterprise Scheme) is a South London based social enterprise charity. Their main goal is to renovate disused properties in South London, using trainees that are marginalised, long term unemployed, ex-offenders or those who have experienced homelessness.

Set up in 2001 the charity was originally called Advocates for Homeless, providing advice and support to homeless people in South London. Speaking about the change of focus for the charity Glen Heaton, project manager at PHASES said: “We focused on advice for about five years then we realised a lot of homeless people had careers in construction and then had drug or alcohol problems and then there were empty properties that could be used as construction projects so putting the two together seemed bit of a no brainer.” Continue reading

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Housing campaigners call on MPs to vote to block retaliatory evictions


Picture: Michele Keilty: Campaigners hope MPs will vote for a bill to limit retaliatory evictions

By Gordon Chaston

Housing campaigners are calling on MP’s to vote on a bill to block retaliatory evictions against private renters.

The Tenancies (Reform) Bill, a private members bill introduced by Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather, hopes to delay rogue landlords from evicting tenants who request repairs. Currently landlords are able to issue Section 21 notices giving tenants two months to vacate their homes without reason.

Activists are concerned about low turn out for next Friday’s vote when MP’s are normally at their constituencies and are asking local residents to pressure them to be available and vote in favour of the bill.

Hackney Renters wrote on their website: “Of all the injustices suffered by private renters on a regular basis, being evicted for making a complaint about your home is one of the worst. Continue reading

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MoJ Plan Prisoner Rehabilitation Reform

by Michele Keilty

Chris Grayling, Photo Credit Conservative Party

Chris Grayling, Photo Credit –  Conservative Party

The Ministry of Justice today announced plans to reduce the risk of prisoners re-offending, by improving the rehabilitation process across England and Wales.

Almost 60% of prisoners re-offend within a year of being released. This initiative hopes to unite public, private and voluntary sectors in the battle against re-offending.

The reforms propose new ways of working with and mentoring offenders and will transform the way re-offending is tackled.

MP Chris Grayling said: “We cannot go on with a situation where thousands of prisoners are released onto the streets every year with no guidance or support, and are simply left to re-offend.”

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