Birmingham has the highest rate of homelessness in the country and the West Midlands the highest rate of any region outside of London. With hostels and housing services struggling to keep up with the demand for shelter and support due to average funding cuts of 15% and the loss of 1 in 10 staff the people most in need of support, often with mental illness or substance abuse are not getting the help they need. On top of this the government has forced though a law to make squatting residential properties illegal (despite Birmingham having 11,924 empty homes) meaning there is currently a real homeless crisis in Birmingham that could get a lot worse. Especially if the 34,000 people in Birmingham who claim housing benefit find they cannot afford to pay the rent as Housing Benefit is slowly replaced by Local Housing Allowance and cuts to child tax credits go ahead.
Update 19/8/12: Police arresting homeless in Birmingham
On the Newswire: Brum FnB at the Birmingham Social Centre | First eviction protest for B.E.R.N | BERN BABY BERN fundraiser for Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network | Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network meeting | Food is a right not a privilege – statement of solidarity | Food not Bombs every Sunday at Holloway Circus | Birmingham Food Not Bombs is back
Videos: Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network first eviction protest | FNB in Victoria Square
Links: Brum Food not Bombs | Birmingham Eviction Resistance Network