4 February 2019
A young mother in a housing association property owned by Places for People has been saved from eviction after her case was heard in court.
Chantelle McClarence works full-time, and like many other single parents, with no child support, struggles to manage on her low wages. After a period of mental ill-health brought on by work-related stress, Chantelle fell into arrears with her rent.
Her landlord, Places for People (Pf), decided to initiate eviction proceedings, showing little regard for the possibility that she and her young son would be left homeless. PfP is Britain’s largest housing association, and according to Inside Housing, increased its surplus from £119.7m to £130.2m in 2018.
In this case, the courts rejected the case presented by PfP, but Chantell’s story is all too familiar. The system rarely seeks to understand the social factors behind rent arrears – mental and physical health problems, low pay, and the high costs of childcare for working parents, for example.
SHAC condemns the action of PfP and similar associations, which are content to channel money toward inflated executive salaries but won’t work sympathetically with tenants whose circumstances take a downturn.
The PfP chief executive David Cowans earns £591,256 so he and other PfP executives will have little understanding of the struggles faced by single parents on low wages.
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