If you walk around London, you’ll realise the dire situation of homelessness, though we like to pretend it doesn’t exist. To shed light on the problem, an Airbnb user is offering a bench on a Shoreditch high street for £1,000 a night – but Airbnb has taken down the listing.

The user, named Martin shared details of the ‘property’ saying it’s a ‘spot in the heart of London’ boasting an ‘open-air environment’ and is close to shops, trains and local nightlife.

The bench isn’t really for rent. Martin is raising awareness of the plight of homeless people who are fined a grand for sleeping on the streets, as stipulated by the 1824 Vagrancy Act.

He has included pictures of the public bench, in its usual listing format, including checking in and out dates. Also part of the listing is a description of the property described as an ‘entire flat – one guest, one bedroom, one bed, toilet with sink’.

The description reads: ‘All this can be yours for £1000 a night. ‘And if you think this is ridiculous, you’re bang on. ‘The 1824 Vagrancy Act means that homeless people are being fined up to £1000 a night, and slapped with a criminal record for sleeping rough. ‘Please help put a stop to this injustice. Sign the petition to repeal this cruel and heartless act.’ Under ‘other things to note’, it says: ‘There were 1,320 prosecutions under the Vagrancy Act in England and Wales in 2018 – a rise of 6%. ‘In the same year, laws like this lead to 73% of homeless people being criminalised.’

Martin also included a link to a petition which people can sign to repeal the act. The petition is still active though you will be unable to reach it via Michael’s bench listing.

With Scotland and Ireland already having gotten rid of that law, petitioners are hoping that England too can follow suit. So far it has 20 signatures but needs 100,000 before it can be taken to parliament. The deadline to sign it is January 2020 and you can do so here.

Source: Metro