December 7 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
A legal clinic has been set up to help the most “vulnerable” people in society get free advice on housing.
The Salvation Army, Clements Road, Ilford launched the Housing Legal Advice Clinic on Thursday to counter cuts to legal aid which it said was impacting the poorest the most.
They have teamed up with legal firm Sternberg Reed and the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London, High Road, Ilford to give practical advice to anyone in need.
John Clifton, corps officer at the Salvation Army, said: “The legal advice clinic comes against a backdrop of public sector cuts, particularly those to legal aid, which are damaging those who are the most vulnerable.”
The clinic will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am until noon and Mr Clifton said he is keen to hear from anyone who has skills to offer.
He said: “Unfortunately, we find that landlords tend to fall into two categories: dependable or dodgy. To the good landlords, we say ‘we want to work with you’ and to the bad landlords we say ‘we won’t let you get away with it.’”
The Salvation Army opened a winter night shelter over Christmas for anyone needing somewhere to stay and said the clinic seemed like an appropriate next step.
Mr Clifton said: “The Salvation Army has a track record for supporting those who are already homeless but this partnership with Sternberg Reed and RAMFEL will help us give a much needed service to those whose circumstances would be improved with free legal advice on a housing issue.”
He said it is not just people who are sleeping rough who may benefit from the clinic but anyone who is struggling with housing and needs advice.
“We are keen to advocate with those who might soon face homelessness, are living in a property that is in disrepair, or are experiencing other problems with the accommodation that they have,” he added.