Cathy Come or Leave Home


In the 60’s the Documentary Drama “Cathy Come Home” had a massive affect on public perception of the then vile Housing Market and rogue Landlords.

It was mentioned in Parliament in the 1960’s and helped instigate major changes including the start up of several homeless charities including ‘Crisis’ and ‘Shelter’ which are the lifeline for so many of our UK’s most vulnerable people and the sad fact is that it’s shocking we should still need them today in 21st century Britain. Now in 2013 the Conservatives have forced through parliament the ‘Bedroom Tax – this will create many more VICTIMS just like Cathy.

* Who will be affected?

This change affects council tenants, and those who rent from housing associations.

* How much will people lose?

If tenants are deemed to have one spare room, they will lose 14% of their benefit. If they have two or more spare rooms, they will lose 25%.

* How many bedrooms are you allowed?

The new rules allow one bedroom for each adult or couple. Children under the age of 16 are expected to share, if they are the same gender. Those under 10 are expected to share whatever their gender.

Disabled tenants will be allowed a bedroom for full-time carers ONLY. The number of bedrooms in the property will be determined by the landlord’s tenancy agreement, so you cannot claim a bedroom is actually a living room.

* Can I keep a spare bedroom?

NOT without losing benefit. Parents who are separated are not allowed to keep a vacant bedroom for a child who visits. Foster children are not counted as permanent members of a household.

* What about students?

From April, parents will not be penalised if a student is away, as long as he or she sleeps at home for at least two weeks a year. But when universal credit comes in from this autumn, students will need to be at home for at least six months to avoid a benefit cut.

My own film ‘Homelessness’ is also inspired by the Ken Loach film ‘Cathy Come Home’ and today I met up with a homeless person who told me while chatting for about an hour about his love for the arts and discussed the difference between performance an appearing on stage and acting in film. I sat down with him for a while as we continued our conversation and appears on checking him out while I sat there he was genuine and had indeed had credits for both. He was given a few pence and a few pound coins from passers-by who inquisitively looked down towards where we was sitting, me dressed in my suit and him in his dishevelled clothes but where as yesterday when I talked and chatted with a homeless person and I gave my pocket change today I left him with something which I think he liked a little more. On hearing throughout our conversation he loved performing in theatre more but still loved acting in film, i gave him a piece of paper and said ‘Thats my number and to ring me cause i just cast you and now he has a part in my ‘Homelessness’ film.

There are many reasons one can become homeless so don’t judge, listen and you maybe able to give them something more than what money can buy.
Hope your all safe. Take care.

Watch the original film ‘Cathy Come Home’ from 1966 here

Bedroom Tax…think its unfair…then let me know your thoughts below.

Thank you for all your support.

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All blogs, social media are from myself Johnny Lynch and the views are my own.


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