#BedroomTax and Michael Hilton’s Eviction

You hear all the time, People say ” I just can’t believe that….” – Well this is one of those times!!!

Daily Mirror 18/06/2014

On Wednesday June 4th 2014 Michael Hilton from Accrington was forcibly EVICTED from his home.
His Housing Association HYNDBURN HOMES http://www.hyndburnhomes.co.uk/ claim he owes #BedroomTAX.
Michael Hilton has lived in his home for 30 years!!!!

Michael Hilton is not a well man. He has had mental health problems for a considerable time. He was outraged when the Bailiffs turned up at his home. From what I have been told by Michael’s sister, Michael may well have ignored much of the correspondence leading up to Court Proceedings and the eviction itself. Isn’t that what many of us do when we are worried sick and stressed? – We bury our heads in the sand!!!

(Lancashire Telegraph)

ALL Michael’s possessions, including treasured photographs and trinkets were thrown in the skip. Along with all his other belongings, including his clothes. A representative employed by Hyndburn Homes is alledged to have said to Michaels neighbours (whilst laughing)  ” Help Yourselves”
The house was boarded up immediately and the skip has since been ‘rifled’ by uncaring individuals…..

Whilst I don’t condone bad behaviour of any kind, or threats of violence, Michael took umbridge with the Bailiffs. Poor Soul ended up being arrested for ”Threatening Behaviour’ and ‘Attempted Affray’. He was whisked off to a prison in Liverpool and held on remand until a Crown Court appearance in Burnley this week.

Michael’s hearing was not very positive.
A Trial date has been set for 12th Nov, with plea hearing on 22nd Aug. NO bail – They are still holding him on remand! and again, to my knowledge NO MH assessment!!

How can this man be treated in this way, all he wanted to do was to stay in his home.

Now then, are you ready for ‘that moment’…………

Michael may well have been EXEMPT from Bedroom Tax under the ‘1996 Ruling/Loophole!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is a good chance that had the DWP, the Housing Association (Hyndburn Homes) and the Local Council – Hyndburn, have all failed him. Had they have done their job properly, then Michael would NEVER have found himself in this situation!!!!!!!!!!!!
His sister tells me he has been in continuous receipt of Housing Benefit since the mid 80’s. He was however detained at HMP for a brief period of 8 weeks several years ago.

The reason given is,  ‘alledgedly’, that he “doesn’t ‘fit the 1996 criteria, his head was not on his own pillow'” – how mad is that????

To my knowledge, there was NEVER a break in his Housing Benefit, he was STILL the registered Tenant at THAT address.
Hey, are we not allowed to sleep elsewhere now? Is that what Burnley Council/HyndburnHomes want us to believe? Michael could have been visiting you or the Queen for all I care.

He FITS the 1996 Criteria…….

I believe that Hyndburn Council, failed him. Hyndburn Homes, failed him, the DWP, failed him,…….
Why was he allowed to slip through the net? Where were the ‘Welfare Advice’ teams? Where were his Local Ward Councillors?
But more importantly, the buck stops with Cameron, IDS, McVey and the DWP. This was their Co*k Up and poor Michael Hilton is now in Prison BECAUSE of THEM!!!!!!


44 thoughts on “#BedroomTax and Michael Hilton’s Eviction

  1. Although this is a disturbing news article, you ask at the end, ‘where were the welfare advice groups and his local ward councillors’. Well they were there but, unfortunately none of them are mind readers. If they had of been asked by Michael himself, or a family member, or even a friend to look at the situation, I am sure things would have been sorted out easily.
    I worked as a welfare rights advisor for about 15 years and, in that time, I had literally thousands of cases that could have been straightened out in two minutes but, because people left things until the last possible moment before saying something, those cases took as long as six months to get sorted, with all of the added stress that people went through needlessly.
    It would help enormously if someone would run a national campaign to get people to seek help immediately they were notified of a problem with anything to do with their welfare or housing benefits.

    • Yes, to a degree I have to agree with you.
      However, this Gentleman does have Mental Health Problems. He has a history of them.
      I live in Cornwall, and I have health problems too…. this gentleman lives at the other end of the Country. So you appreciate how hard it is
      We/I can only do so much…. I am just trying to highlight what has happened.
      As we speak he has still had NO assessment and I have been told by his sister that this could take up to eight weeks!!!
      First thing that comes to my mind is, are we going to have another death here? Sadly 8 weeks may be too late for Michael.

    • Oh dear Brian. Where can I start to explain. I’ll make this simple. People in positions of responsibility for administering any authoritarian mechanism are, odd though it may seem, precisely “responsible” for administering those mechanisms correctly. That is what they are paid to do. It is their responsibility to find out what the issues are and to make sure things are fair and right. Bureaucrats who think of themselves as “only a normal human being” are faking it. They are irresponsible. It is NOT the benefit claimant’s responsibility to know all the complex rules and regulations. That is why experts are paid – to be experts. Abdicating responsibility by expecting someone who may be an expert in another field to also be an expert in your field and leaving it up to them to tell you what rights they have according to your rules is ridiculous and … and Brian … it happens to be against the law. Not that you probably realise that. You have seriously upset me with your arrogant and dismissive, but very clever, shifting of ‘blame’. So now I ask you, how much did you get paid to help these people get what they were entitled to whilst leaving it up to them to do your job. And how fat a pension are you sitting on for averting your eyes from all those people who didn’t and still don’t know what their rights are because they are well hidden in a labyrinth of bureaucratic statutory nonsense?

      • Well said, Sam and ‘Words’ fail me..Take the most vulnerable in society and #send them to jail ~ It’a a bloody disgrace. Community Mental Health, Housing Support and Local Authority should all have been offering support and guidance to this man, 30 years a tenant and treated appallingly. Whatever happened to caring sharing Britain?~ Oops I forgot~ we give that to the immigrants who turn up at our door and seemingly, quite successfully bid for housing and benefits. They #Love our country….Instead of #trashing a man’s life~give him the SUPPORT he needs.

    • Clearly you have no experience of Burnley council.
      I have and i can assure you that even if you are entitled to something does not mean you will receive it, appeals are a waste of time and they have blatantly refused to uphold enacted legislation, would you like to see the recording i took of them saying this ?

    • They were informed of his situation ! But he was Not offered alternative accommodation, They said, its irrelevant, ! see you in court. Now pick the bones out of that one ?

  2. According to the shelter site housing benefit would be payable, during a 13 week period at HMP. Therefore his housing benefit claim would have run continuously, wouldn’t it?

  3. people with mental health issues.. ostensibly should have a dedicated social worker to make sure they do the paperwork etc.. It’s heinous .. to throw all his things away as well. Can you even imagine how devastated he must be. I am so sad to think that there was a time when I loved the UK.. when I had to access NHS briefly for a chest infection .They were lovely.. to see this go on there.. well it’s a damn crime.. and I hope the people responsible for this go to jail.. May their karma run very fast over their dogma. May he be freed from debtors prison and allowed to live as a human being with rights again soon. I sincerely hope you guys are sending everything you can to the every newspaper that will accept it.. bombard them daily with this stuff.. cannot hurt to try..(preaching to the choir again) takes my seaT.. prayers and blessings for all in this mess

  4. 30 years of paying rent and you(the government) throw him in jail!!! This would cost more than what is owed in room tax? Con’s are a bunch of robbing fuckers who need to spend some time in HMP. Should be made to pay for his losses and sack the low life who found it so funny to give a help ya self notice to others. I remember back in the 80’s when Thatcher did the same to the poll tax payers. WE THE NATION HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH!!! FINE ME IF YOU WANT WANKERS JUST AS YOU DID WITH A SPEEDING FINE OF 280 POUNDSFOR SPEEDING 35 IN A 30. MAX FINE BECAUSE I SPOKE MY MIND. “HITLERS”.

  5. I’m afraid the bureaucrats are not held to their statutory duties. It is disgraceful to do this to someone because they were too confused or afraid and didn’t act according to some abstract and oppressive notion of what a ‘normal person’ should do. But it does seem to be part of the catastrophic collapse of our civilisation.

  6. Brian Powell hang your head in shame for making such a post ! The reason we have a welfare state its to help people who cannot cop with life who are struggling with health issues… why would they know or be aware of time Laddie !!!! …That’s what the health service is there for ..Our ancestor fought hard for us to be safe to have life !!!! and some gave their own to protect us …..NOT for any snobby comment that it/or applying fault..this TORY tax is illegal find the balls to fight it …on behalf of your Mother sister brother I will be the first in anyone corner …get there show power and get this stopped ..the Torys are out anyway ….but Westminster still loam’s it evil head …come on you lot …get a grip !!! we are waiting for them in Scotland !!!!!

  7. This is horrific and has been dealt with all wrong, but people have to be notified to deal with any problems in the first place. If suffering from mental health issues there should be social workers care given to help with any issues also family or friends shouldn’t just sit back and let the problem escalate to the level in which this case has.

      • Disgusting treatment of a vulnerable person! You need to get legal aid & a solicitor to deal with this under the “equality act 2010” which may have been breached by the HA, since they may not have taken mental health issues into account, before pursuing his eviction.

  8. My mum is near this process.

    My mum suffers from severe depression and psychical problems and can’t work.

    Over 12 months she’s been waiting for the stupid t*ats at dwp won’t give her ANY benefits other then income support at £40 a week.

    Citizens advise, benefit advisors, solicitors are ALL saying she shoukd be on PIP (AKA DLA) and ESA.

    The twat cow (excuse my language) at the PIP assessment put in a report that apparently my mum has a full time job and a car and no heath issues.

    Odd.. As I recall she tried killing herself she goes to a wellbeing centre and has to walk miles as half the time she can’t even afford a single bus ticket unless she gets lifts or money off people.

    Now I worry as she has letter off the housing association (trafford) saying she owes them almost £500 in arrears from the stupid bedroom tax this stupid selfish government made.

    What’s also bad is she lived in her current home since 1990 never been able to work during this time due to being a full time carer which clearly led to her depression and illnesses. She was told she did not need to pay the bedroom tax.

    Yet suddenly she’s now in debt and threatened to be evicted saying she owes money and needs to pay £25+ a week.

    So with £40 a week income she is expected to pay bus and tram fares to wellbeing centre, pay for food, pay for bills and pay over £25 a week bedroom tax.

    I worry every day that I may find her dead from suicide.

    Everyone knows she spoke to everyone there solicitors and advisers at the wellbeing centre… But DWP REFILL TO HELP OR care.

    They say my mum now has to fork out over £200 in fees to open a case and a review with Dr medical reports to see if she is telling the truth (which she is).

    They never return her calls until the advisers and solicitors get involved ringing then and the DWP say “we called multiple times and nobody answers”.. The advisors then state how her phone records etc show NOT ONE CALL AT ALL off them.

    Moments later she amazingly gets a call.

    Then refused any help or reviews until she pays for medical reports and fees.

    Now she told me on phone “what’s the fu****g point you may as well have all my things as I’m f****d and give up, no point at all when they say may take further 18 months to review and I got to magically pay for it so I give up why should I bother”.. Then she burst into tears.

    Weeks later.. Nobody still doesn’t care.

    She has now new tablets due to more sucidal thoughts now losing her memory forgetting things due to all the crap tablets she has to take and also has therapy.

    And yet she has to go home to letter and calls threatening to throw her on the streets…

    No idea what to do as I have to give her half my benefits to pay for food so she can actually survive.. And I have no money for decorating or carpets or even to go out as half my money has to go to her for food.

    And I can’t help as I have psychosis and my own problems to sort out and my care coordinator has told me for past 2 years I need to help myself before others as I help others too much before my own.

    So as to the comment I saw from Brian Powell. No.. Even people who are aware it is NOT SORTED OUT AT all.

    Met mum at library at citizins advice.. They said same things that she deserves more and clearly mistreated by dwp. They rang and dpd promised to fix it by morning.

    ……. 4 days later more calls off housing with threats and no help or support about her benefits she needs.

    Really really pi***s me off that people can come to this country and go on benefits and cheat the system while genuin3 people like my mum get nothing and treated like piece of dirt.

    Everyone is worried about her.

    Many times I panic when she doesn’t answer phone all day… Thinking she was evicted and she killed herself..

    • Hi Smith. I’m so sorry to hear about your Mum’s situation. She clearly has had no help from her council. It sounds like she would have been exempt up until March 3rd. Under the PRE 1996 rule. And then she can submit a new BT appeal. for other reasons. I don’t know what size property she is in. But, perhaps, the need for an overnight carer? There are many reasons to appeal. and, there are Facebook groups that can guide you through the process…. On the issue of getting copies of her Medical records. You apply, under the Data Protection Act 1998. There will be a charge, But, NOT the amount you mention!!……….. I would also suggest you contact MIND. And, CAB and SHELTER.. xx

  9. While i sympathize with the man in question the comments below annoy me greatly. He should of been re-housed that’s obvious. They have clearly failed him as the welfare state is there to help people in genuine need but i question why people say that its his home ? He doesn’t own the house the housing association does, and like any landlord has the right to move in or out anyone they choose. Was he offered alternative housing in a smaller property? Were the authorities aware of his mental illnesses? I wouldn’t be too quick to judge the police as they can only enforce the laws as they are and hopefully the courts will mitigate this in the event he’s found guilty.

    Im someone who has worked non stop since leaving school and ive never claimed any benefits. When im out of work ,which as a self employed construction worker can happen I rely on savings. I don’t own my own home. I have to rent privately as my local housing authority have told me and my partner we are not eligible. We don’t earn huge amounts of money yet because the system is so clogged with people under occupying houses and refusing to downsize we will be stuck in a two bedroom flat which costs us over 3500 pounds a year more than the equivalent housing association flat until we can club together the 20 thousand pound or so needed for a deposit to buy.

    People complain about the bedroom tax like its the devil. Why shouldn’t they pay when i have to ? If i under occupy a house i rent privately or that i buy i still have to pay. I’m sick of people whining and pleading for pity.

    Some of you mention foreigners and immigrants. Do you really believe they are the problem? Personally id start with the white scum that pollute this country. The ones with everything handed to them yet still prefer to sit on their arse doing nothing. These are the people abusing the system taking everything and giving nothing warping things so that people in genuine need ( like Michael ) get lost in the fog.

    We are a nation built on immigration. the vast majority of immigrants that come here are hardworking good people who are just trying to better their lives yet people are quick to blame them for the chaos that’s our welfare system.

    Lance you seem annoyed with the system, why ? Because you were caught breaking an enforced speed limit? If you don’t like it travel at the speed limit its simple. As for Rab wowww . I’m pretty sure those men and women you mention, who gave their lives serving this country didn’t do so in the hope we would become a nation of moaning bigoted scroungers.

    We are the greatest nation on earth and it pains me to see what we are becoming. I’m British, white and working class just incase your wondering.

      • I think sometimes people get mixed up with the difference between a home and a house. Owning property is one thing and there are laws written which, right or wrong, govern that process. A home is a place which you have a right to live and function with a degree of permanency. People can choose to move but it is not reasonable to treat people like cattle moving them at will. It breaks their social network, their familiarity, their sense of psychological security. It is well recognised that there is a difference between owning some bricks and mortar and having a home. All people deserve the respect and dignity to have a home and those rights should not be trampled on lightly. It seems this government, much as it knows these things, is deliberately ignoring them and exploiting the public’s ignorance and, ironically, their fear and insecurity in the falsely and maliciously imposed “austerity” regime. In these bad times a lot of people seem to allow their resentment to corrupt their basic human decency. They forget that we humans don’t choose to be born but we do have a right to be here. Failing that we are meaningless biological entities with no consequence and if it is acceptable to shovel people around then why would we care about anyone except ourselves.

    • Thank you for your comments.
      We must remember he Housing Crisis was NOT caused by the Bedroom Tax Victims, or the homeless, or, those in overcrowded properties. What we should remember is, yes you have LHA but it only affected new Tenancies. The BT was applied to those with existing Tenancy Agreements.
      Let’s face it, ‘if’ this Policy was genuinely about freeing up homes, the it would have included Pensioners. Not that I believe anyone should be forced to move).
      When I asked that directly to my MP I was met with silence!!!
      Oh and anyone with a Mortgage, should they not call their dwellings their homes either? Afterall, the Banks own them until the deeds are handed over upon Mortgae Payment Completion….

      • Appreciate the reply. Don’t usually comment on things as debate and differing opinion are almost dirty words these days. That being said i don’t agree with all your arguments but can concede that BT was never about easing the housing crisis but about another stealth tax for some of our most vulnerable, affecting them rather than targeting the people causing the problems.

      • I respect all people’s opinions and believe in healthy debate etc…
        Sadly others do not always take that view….
        I hate seeing twitter spats etc and people resorting to getting personal. Not nice at all.
        Have a good weekend

  10. what gets me, is no one has mentioned anything about the guys furniture or clothing, whom is going to recompense his memories?

  11. Hi Michelle

    This case is appalling and it is clear that Michael Hilton has suffered due to multiple failings in multiple areas.

    I work for a Legal Aid solicitor’s firm, and we specialise in housing and debt law. Unfortunately, we see all-too-often Local Authorities, government bodies and housing associations behaving unilaterally and treating people badly, and failing to comply with their statutory obligations. It is often certain groups of people within those organisations who feel they can behave with impugnity and pick and choose how they apply the law – when properly challenged in the courts they have to capitulate and provide the services that they should have provided in the first place; only this time they have to pay the inter partes costs as well.

    If Mr Hilton is homeless and providing he satisfies the means test he should be entitled to Legal Aid – this can help him with his homelessness issue and if he has MH problems then a good community care lawyer should be able to help him as well.

    • Can they also get compensation for him for all his lost, destroyed and misappropriated personal property, and for his loss of liberty? How can you recompense someone for personal things such as photos?

    • Hi Rob, are you able to suggest a Lawyer that could take the case on? I have heard from his Niece that the one he had, didn’t even turn up to court!! He’s in dire need of really good legal representation..

    • Your’re absolutely right, as I’ve found with my so-called landlord based in North Wales, who is also a HA & registered as a charity, of all things. In fact, these crooks should be facing an independent internal audit, for the way they run this organisation, which receives millions of pounds of public money. Is it possible that this chaps HA has breached the “equality act 2010” by failing to take into account his mental health problems?

  12. I’ve been on the website for Hyndburn Borough council.
    Bombard them with emails PLEASE!! enquiries@hyndburnbc.gov.uk

    Also, their Homeless and Housing advice service!!
    When he gets out of prison, he will be homeless. Will they have a duty to rehome him? Or, say, he made himself intentionally homeless??

    There is no mention about if he was advised to apply for a DHP??

    I believe the MP is Gordon Birtwhistle?? A Lib Dem.

    I would suggest the family contact MIND. They have many local groups and are very supportive and may be able to offer help and advice.

    A formal complaint needs to be made. And then take it to the Local Government Ombudsman.

    And, of course, this must go viral.

  13. It is nearly one hundred years since millions of British and Commonwealth Laddies lost their lives or were horrifyingly maimed under the guise of fighting tyranny, 21 years later our Laddies went through it again but this time it was a legitimate cause not a War for the pompous upper classes but a War against real tyranny a threat that if it had succeeded would have been the end of world freedom in fact it may well have been something like the world we live in today, all the lying thieving cheating Political Elite Germany doing what he couldn’t do in two world wars ruling Europe and Britain so all our Laddies and Lassies lives were in vain,all the big companies dodging tax and the less said about the rotten stinking filthy bastards in the financial sector the better, and before some wee bank cleaner sends me a hand grenade through the post I mean the really nasty rat fucking top dogs, so now I come to the crux is the treatment of this poor guy not the behaviour of a Totalitarian state that cares for no one but themselves, is it not reminiscent of the NAZI Selection Process life/death the only thing missing is the concentration camps but they will appear in time if this rotten to the core Government get elected again so think carefully where you put your mark in 2015 or we could all be Michael, I am approaching my 63rd birthday I don’t know the age Michael is at just now but this thought is irrelevant it makes no difference what age Michael is in a FREE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY incidents like this should not happen these are the actions of a Central Government who do not care and a Local Government and Housing Association who should be taken to Court and have their arses sued and have their dangly bits severely booted until thoroughly bruised and swollen, I on behalf of the Decent People of Britain Demand this Man be released from Prison Immediately and Rehoused and Reimbursed for all his losses but these scumbags cannot do this because they threw all Michael’s Private and Personal and Treasured Possession’s into a SKIP and a lowlife scum-sucker invited even lower life to help themselves, yeah People of Britain Welcome to Mr D. Cameron and his Tory Parties BIG SOCIETY if Clegg was a MAN which he is not he would withdraw from this coalition from HELL but then the gravy would dry up and the PIE would go dry can’t have that now can we not when they can evict people and jail them.

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