Z2K launches #LifeAfterLockdown campaign on housing and social security

By agency reporter
July 20, 2020

Anti-poverty charity Z2K (formerly Zacchaeus 2000 Trust) gives people direct help, through representation at benefit appeals, brokering tenancies for single homeless people, and other support and advocacy work. This experience feeds through into national campaigning work.

Throughout the lockdown, Z2K has been holding online workshops with the people it supports, talking about the changes they would like to see to the Social Security and housing systems which would enable everyone to live stable and dignified lives. They say: “In the wake of Covid19, urgent changes are needed to our social security and private rented housing systems so that everyone has a safe place to live and enough money to live on.”

This week Z2K has launched its #LifeAfterLockdown campaign, posting views from workshop participants on its website, Twitter, and Facebook, using the hashtag #LifeAfterLockdown. They are asking people to support the campaign by sharing these posts, but also by sharing their own thoughts on what the housing and social security systems should look like, using the hashtag #LifeAfterLockdown and tagging Z2K where possible.

So far, by combining what people said in the workshops with evidence from casework, the charity has produced a list of key changes it would like to see made to housing in the Private Rented Sector and to Universal Credit.

Private Rented Sector

  • Mandatory, funded, enforced licensing schemes. This would mean Private Rented Sector properties have to be of a certain standard, with repercussions for landlords who don’t adhere to this standard.
  • Housing benefit increased to cover median rents, and the Benefit Cap removed, so that people can afford to live in adequate properties that are close to their existing communities and support systems.
  • An end to ‘no-fault’ evictions so that a landlord needs a reason to evict a tenant, and the introduction of a deposit ‘passporting’ scheme which would allow a deposit to be transferred from one landlord to another.

Universal Credit

  • Maintain the £20 per week emergency increase beyond March 2021, and then increase all benefits to bring them into line with the cost of rent and living
  • During the pandemic, benefit sanctions were suspended. Sanctions should now be completely removed from our social security system.
  • An end to the stigma often associated with being on benefits

* Twitter @Z2K_trust 

* Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Z2Ktrust

* Website  https://www.z2k.org/

[Ekk/6]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.