They say that many of us are only two payslips away from becoming homeless. But in today’s London you don’t have to lose your job to find yourself without a roof. Daisy-May Hudson was about to graduate from Manchester Uni when her mum Beverley called to say that their landlord in Epping was selling up. Beverley had worked low-paid jobs to fit around raising Daisy-May and her sister. Now, priced out of the area, she had no choice but to go to the council, which placed the family in a hostel. Feeling powerless, Daisy-May picked up a camera and filmed their year in limbo.
The family’s first hostel is a former barracks with strip lighting and CCTV cameras everywhere. The Hudsons are allocated two rooms, sharing a bathroom and kitchen with other families. It’s not a home, and anyone with influence over housing policy should be made to watch ‘Half Way’ to see the impact of homelessness on families and mental health. Daisy-May’s funny, independent and capable mum is defeated by council red tape and brutal bureaucracy, left at her wits’ end. The Hudsons don’t fit the stereotype of homelessness. And what’s so shocking about this brave, taboo-breaking doc is that it shows how being homeless is a new kind of normal in London.