Social landlords expect cuts to trigger new wave of homelessness

Social landlords expect cuts to trigger new wave of homelessness 

Report based on survey of English housing associations and councils suggests government moves to restrict benefits will result in a surge in tenant evictions

An empty property
High numbers of evictions are leaving housing associations in some areas without tenants. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Social landlords are expecting a surge in rent arrears, tenant evictions and homelessness as the government pushes ahead with more welfare cuts and changes, according to new research.

The continuing impact of the bedroom tax, together with moves to extend the benefit cap and impose further limits on housing benefit, will put further financial pressure on tenants, predicts a report by consultants Grant Thornton.

It concludes that the ability of councils and housing associations to mitigate growing arrears has been severely eroded, and increasing numbers are issuing possession orders to tenants who have fallen behind with the rent.

Grant Thornton’s survey of English housing associations and local authorities revealed that a majority had seen a rise in average rent arrears over the past two years, with over a fifth reporting a “sharp increase” in eviction notices being served.

Last week, official statistics showed that tenant evictions reached a six-year high in the first three months of 2015. Over the same period, social landlords made 27,000 possession claims – the first stage in the legal process leading to an eviction.

Councils are also feeling the strain of increased evictions in the private rented sector, with 59% reporting an increase in applications for social housing from tenants who had been ejected by private landlords.

The threat of further evictions will rise after a cut in the budget for discretionary housing payments (DHP) from £165m to £125m this year, the report says. DHP grants, which help tenants with rent shortfalls caused by welfare reform, were originally intended as a temporary measure to enable tenants to stay in their home while they got a job or arranged a move to a smaller property.

Social landlords expect cuts to trigger new wave of homelessness  

Street Democracy writes: 

‘We hold our doors so they attack in vain, 

but the dissposses can never reign, 

The Tories darkness to desolate our inner peace

Our societal tolerance of this must now cease!

Tory bullies set a furious expedition of fierce hosting with frowning scorn as they devise with fanatical commitment social housing benefit cuts that do not match the ‘real’ agenda of living.

Like a book of hideous horrors, ravenous eyes of blue will rip apart the welfare state budget and the knock on affect will be catastrophic, a real cataclysm of hardship and homelessness.

Feeling powerless is exalted to highest when you have no base, no home and are at the mercy of the state. 

Its cold, void of empathy. 

It’s frighteningly undignified and humilation upon the face of the mother who has no front door key, who holds her child without cover and stands in front of housing officers who follow the tail of the one in front.

An unwelcome forced intimacy of front line reception housing, is filled with love abandon policies, evil in print and administrators unwilling to disobey and put humanity first before unclean wisdom and policy.

You face a plethora of hostile dialogues of conditions and financial sanctions before you are shunted off to unsuitable temporary accommadation and for what.

How many empty properties are there, and how many unscrupulous rich landlords are there?

Always a corrupt capitalist society will put profit before people and this is no exception and it helps only the wealthy.

By Debbie Simmons-Street Democracy.

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Iain Duncan Smith hails success of benefit cap as evictions hit record levels

Iain Duncan Smith hails success of benefit cap as evictions hit record levels 

24DASH.COM Logo Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Bill Payments, Central Government

Friday 15th May 2015 – 9:46am

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Iain Duncan Smith hails success of benefit cap as evictions hit record levels 

Iain Duncan Smith hails success of benefit cap as evictions hit record levels

Iain Duncan Smith has hailed the success of the benefit cap – on the same day that the Ministry of Justice reported a record number evictions among renting households.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said the cap provided “a clear incentive to people to get into work”, as figures showed thousands of capped households were now claiming working tax credits instead.

But Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said the government’s welfare cuts combined with “sky-high housing costs” had forced thousands of people out of their homes.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Work and Pensions, 23,100 households had their housing benefit capped during February with over 60% being single parent families.

Of the overall total, 83% were capped by £100 or less a week; 59% had between one and four children, and 63% were a single parent with child dependants.

 

For more click here for 24dash.com

Iain Duncan Smith hails success of benefit cap as evictions hit record levels  

 

Or read : http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/

Evictions of rental tenants hit a record high as homeless charity Shelter calls for Government to act

 

 

 

Street Democracy writes:

 

The Tory’s dynamic force of bullying expeditions shunting the poor from place to place is a monumental mechanism to disempower, humiliate and trash further the poorest from society.

 

Home’s for the poverty stricken are temporary short term glorified B & B’s, in fact you needn’t bother unpacking.

Volleying evil and smashing it down upon the poorest is social and political disempowerment as the ‘dissposses cannot reign’, minds full of survival techniques there isn’t room for much else.

 

The elegant rape of the minds of the poorest, with stress and evictions, with homelessness, with no money for a place to live, assassinates the character of those financially struggling to survive.

 

A bombardment of red ‘you owe money’ letters, hostile dialogues with no empathy is nothing more than ‘evil in print’ land in your home as a warrantless invasion, a forced intimacy of unwelcoming into your home.

 

Homes become dark eerie frightening places with evictions hanging over your head. You cannot relax, you feel unwelcome and your dignity is not sacred. Life is boxed and placed in black bin liners.

 

The uncertainty is agony. A true cataclysmic shattering of the self, who you are, with no stability and social expulsion from society as a temporary homeless person or family of the under class.

Iain Duncan ‘soulless suit’ Smith, will devour the low income earners, the unemployed and disabled people as a form of ethnic cleansing to price the poor out of areas and richer tenants in.

 

He has no conscience and is morally bankrupt for certain.

By Debbie Simmons-Street Democracy

Lord Freud deliberately misleads House of Lords over bedroom tax…again!

Lord Freud deliberately misleads House of Lords over bedroom tax…again!

by joehalewoodPicture displayed by Street Democracy.

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Did you know – according to the ignoble Lord Freud – that:

  1. 200,000 1 bed properties become available in social housing each year
  2. There have been “a matter of more than 100 FTT (bedroom tax) appeals.”

That is what he told the House of Lords this afternoon and he is yet again being totally disingenuous

1)  200,000 one bed SRS properties each year?

The actual and universally accepted figure is 68,000 not 200,000 and so we see Lord Freud tripling the amount of the real figure as is his want. See my blog here from March 2012 with the 68,000 figure.

2) “…a matter of more than 100 FTT appeals?”

Having personal knowledge of over 80 bedroom tax appeals myself just from one small part of Merseyside alone and further knowledge, some first-hand and some second-hand of a further few hundred bedroom tax appeals in Merseyside and hundreds more across the UK we again see Lord Freud knowingly misleading the House of Lords yet again.

There may well be one hundred bedroom tax appeals this week alone in the Liverpool Tribunals now that the large number of appeals from neighbouring Sefton are finally reaching the Tribunal in Liverpool

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Please don’t make the mistake by assuming my comments above are party political; they are in fact apolitical as any politician who deliberately and knowingly misleads Parliament should be censured and brought to book.  If any employee did this act of gross misconduct – which deliberately and knowingly misleading is – they would be sacked. In any other workplace it is called barefaced lies yet we are not allowed to say that Parliamentarians lie are we?  Yet in doing precisely this Lord Freud affronts democracy and the democratic process in overtly and knowingly misleading Parliament and the electorate.

Lords and MPs are public servants and should not be allowed to overtly and knowingly mislead.

For more click here for: joehalewood

Lord Freud deliberately misleads House of Lords over bedroom tax…again!

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Fight For TRUTH – STOP the TORY LIES


Fight For TRUTH – STOP the TORY LIES

by Mike Sivier

Originally posted on jaynelinney: Picture displayed by Street Democracy

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A Quick update on the petition  – THANK YOU – we’ve now passed 2,500 signatures and some very kind person had paid to promote the petition (a SPECIAL Thanks to you xx), Now WE NEED to SHARE this as much as possible If you need any more evidence Joe Halewood of the…

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Mike Sivier | June 25, 2014 at 9:02 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:http://wp.me/p262ZD-1LE

Bedroom Tax- Defend Council Housing-Latest From The Press…

Latest From The Press…click here for: Defend Council Housing. Pictures displayed by Street Democracy

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18/06/14 Bedroom tax fundamentally flawed, Cambridge University experts reveal

17/06/14 Council homes chat

13/06/14 SHOUT campaign ready for lift-off

31/05/14 Bedroom tax inflicted on disabled child

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24/05/14 Buy to let landlords a disaster for Britain and economy

22/05/14 Shelter: 4000 households risk losing homes each week

22/05/14 Court battles against bedroom tax can be won

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21/05/14 Bedroomm tax fails to address under-occupancy, landlords warn

20/05/14 Cameron may rethink Help to Buy as prices soar

20/05/14 Cable: booming house prices causing real worry

20/05/14 Millions face prospect of home ownership ‘debtor’s prison’

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14/05/14 Bedroom tax challenge for children with care needs

13/05/14 Majority of councillors agree first time buyers cannot afford to buy

13/05/14 Playing politics with housing waiting lists

12/05/14 In-work housing benefit claims soar

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Bedroom Tax Debt Enslavement: Study finds ‘fundamental flaw’ with bedroom tax

Study finds ‘fundamental flaw’ with bedroom tax

Inside Housing. Pictures displayed by Street Democracy

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Street Democracy writes:

The bedroom tax magnifies misery.

The social housing tenant has been meticulously weakened both nationally and locally while moral decay has calcified further by blundering local housing agents giving this toxic policy all its power.

The bedroom tax has localised bullying.

It is localising debt for the poor with permanent rent arrears also.

The bedroom tax is a diabolical debt enslavement housing policy raping the minds of the most vulnerable while taking essential life saving money’s away from the poorest families.

How toxic is the bedroom tax?

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This article is a weak argument to put to uncaring Tory, no empathy, greedy, serve to self, psychopathic politicians who enforced this gutter housing policy.

Enforced and enshrined into law without thought or consideration at the social, psychological and economic cost it has had, especially towards the poorest families in the UK.

We witness a catastrophic collapse in democracy.

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We witness a fantastic obliteration of moral standards within the epicentre of Westminster where corrupt capitalist’s strutting about in suits calling themselves MP’s have ignored the hundreds and thousands of voices opposing this putrid bedroom tax.

The social housing tenant is near broken as the Tories rewrite the laws of democracy to exclude the poor, to silence them and disengage them from political activity by ignoring them completely.

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It’s a sham of British justice and social democracy by any standards.

And apparently we’re meant to lead the way for other nations to follow of exactly how democracy works, it’s clearly easy, just exclude the poor.

Disfigured political avenues are now emerging cesspits with mocking towards anyone daring to speak out against the bedroom tax as being responsible for the housing crisis and the collapse of the economy.

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Not the greedy politicians over claiming and over using, milking the expenses system and claiming for their second homes heating bills, or mortgage payments, or heating their stables.

Not the wealthy stealing the wealth of the nations, hoarding up endless hundreds of thousands of acres of land they don’t use, don’t need and don’t see causing massive land scarcity and out pricing locals.

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For more on this toxic political apparatus click here or continue reading:

Study finds ‘fundamental flaw’ with bedroom tax

Inside Housing.

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More than half of English homes fall short of modern space standards calling into question the bedroom tax, a study from the University of Cambridge has found.

According to the study, which analysed 16,000 homes in comparison to the London Housing Design guide internal space standard, English homes are the smallest by floor area in Europe and the report’s authors argue that in most of the country you have to under-occupy to have an acceptable amount of living space.

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‘Spare bedrooms are a misconception in many homes, as the lack of space means that any extra bedrooms are needed for other uses,’ said Malcolm Morgan, a PhD student in the University’s Department of Engineering, who led the research.

Published today, the findings were that 55 per cent of dwellings fall short of the standards based on floor space alone, and 21 per cent fall short when the number of current occupants is taken into account. Flats and small terraced houses were most commonly below the standard. Dwellings were also frequently found to be under-occupied in comparison with the number of bedrooms, which was most likely due to lack of space.

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It found that households receiving housing benefit were more likely to be undersized, calling into question the bedroom tax.

The UK has the smallest homes by floor area in Europe with the average newly-built home at just 76 square metres. The report argues that the reasons for this are related to the removal of minimum space standards through the 1980 Local Government, Planning and Land Act, the high value of land, and the low number of houses built by public authorities and housing associations.

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Between one-quarter and one-third of people in the UK are dissatisfied with the amount of space in their homes, and yet many homes can be considered under-occupied when looking at the number of bedrooms compared with the number of occupants.

‘When the bedroom tax was introduced, there was a lot of implication that those living in houses with spare bedrooms were doing so out of selfishness,’ said Mr Morgan. ‘But what this research shows is that in most of the UK, you simply have to under-occupy houses in order to have an acceptable amount of living space.’

Click here for more or to go to Inside Housing:

Watch: Two Liverpool social housing tenants win reprieve from bedroom tax

Watch: Two Liverpool social housing tenants win reprieve from bedroom tax 

By Liverpool Echo

Kirkdale residents Theresa McCarten and Susan Dunne told by judge their bedroom tax bills should be reduced

Two social housing tenants in Liverpool have won reprieve from the hated bedroom tax.

Kirkdale residents Theresa McCarten and Susan Dunne were this week told by a judge their bedroom tax bills should be reduced.

Both had their housing benefit payments slashed by 25% in the wake of the Government’s controversial 2012 welfare reforms.

But the women took their cases to court and a judge ordered their bedroom tax bills be cut from around £22 to £11 a week – leaving each of them approximately £40 a month better off.

Ms McCarten told the ECHO: “Bedrooms are being called bedrooms just so the Government can take people’s benefits off them.

“You couldn’t even fit a bed in my spare room but I still had to pay the bedroom tax on it.”

Ms McCarten was first ordered to pay the bedroom tax in March last year.

Benefits assessors ruled her home was a three-bedroom property, although there were only beds in two rooms.

But the first-tier tribunal of the Social Entitlement Chamber ruled this week: “She has never used the third room as a bedroom as it is too small and has always been used as a computer room.

“The tribunal therefore decided she had two bedrooms.”

For more click here:

Watch: Two Liverpool social housing tenants win reprieve from bedroom tax 

By Liverpool Echo

BEDROOM TAX CRISIS! UPDATE: East Lancs man threatens to blow up house after eviction threat

UPDATE: East Lancs man threatens to blow up house after eviction threat

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A FATHER-of-four threatened to blow up his home after being faced with eviction after a dispute over bedroom tax payments.

Bailiffs arrived at Michael Hilton’s home in Meadoway, Church, at around 9.20am yesterday.

They reported him to police after they heard him say that if they entered the property – his home of 30 years – there would be an ‘explosion’. The police said they believed petrol and gas canisters were in the house.

Mr Hilton, 52, was last night in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of affray following a stand-off lasting around three and a half hours.

Two fire engines were called to the scene, close to St Christopher’s High School, as well as around six police cars, two police vans, a riot van and later, police dog teams.

Mr Hilton barricaded himself in the house and refused to come out.

Will bedroom Tax cost £1bn per year MORE to the taxpayer ?

Will bedroom Tax cost £1bn per year MORE to the taxpayer ? by SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)

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Pictures by Street Democracy.

Late this afternoon Inside Housing published a report called “Survey finds more than a third of bedroom tax-hit tenants in arrears”  An eye-catching headline which outlines a research report by just council landlords experiences.

This being an Inside Housing article the report does not say  what the arrears levels were before the bedroom tax came in and thus negates the headline as just an ‘eye-catcher’ and not related to the content of the article!

The real issue in this article is what is presented almost as a throwaway line in the middle of the article:

The survey also found a significant rise in the number of landlords resorting to court action, 55 per cent, compared to just 2 per cent when members were last surveyed in June 2013.

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The language does not emphasise the fact that the number of council and quasi-council landlords (ALMOs) issuing court actions against their tenants has risen from 2% of them to 55% of them – THAT IS A TWENTY SEVEN FOLD INCREASE or in very simple terms like your yearly salary increasing from £20k to £550k per year!  It is a quite astronomical increase.

Yet it is what this means that is the huge issue.  If over 27 times more council tenants are being hit with court actions then there is going to be a hell of a lot more council tenants getting evicted and shortly.

That inevitable increase in eviction of council tenants because of the bedroom tax and it is inevitable is a direct cost to the taxpayer that has to be set against any claimed savings to the taxpayer the DWP claim it ill have.  There is no doubt there is a huge correlation between the two.  So how much does an evicted tenant cost the councils becomes the question.

Inside Housing earlier in the month provided an estimate of how much each eviction costs a local council and the overall yearly cost of eviction to councils and I quote: –

Tenants on the verge of eviction are being helped to remain in their homes by a recently formed social enterprise that is saving their landlords significant sums in the process. Daniel Douglas finds out how

Aadil Ismail* speaks four languages fluently; Arabic, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu. He can recite vast swathes of the Quran verbatim. His house in Bethnal Green is crammed with shelves upon shelves of books. But for six months, his kitchen cupboards were bare and he had no money to eat.

Mr Ismail, a mild-mannered, intelligent 54-year-old man, could easily have been one of the116,000 households across the UK who turned to their councils for help last year because they were homeless, costing local authorities more than £1 billion every year.

Simple maths and divide £1bn by 116,000 cases and you get an average cost of £8,620 per case. So given the average bedroom tax per year is £760 we can see that an eviction cost equates to 11 YEARS BEDROOM TAX TO THE TAXPAYER!

For more on this click here for: SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)

The bedroom tax discriminates against the social tenant

The bedroom tax discriminates against the social tenant by SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)

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Pictures displayed by Street Democracy.

I did not emphasise the real issue when I reported on the Wirral MBC case a day or so ago choosing to seek permission directly from the Upper Tribunal to appeal against a bedroom tax case with a room measuring 36.53 square feet.  My error was in focusing on the decision taken and not what the decision meant as the REAL issue is the overt discrimination the social tenant suffers in the bedroom tax policy and this specific case highlights the general discrimination which is deserving of much more attention than the ridiculous decision Wirral MBC has taken.

In short if a private landlord had attempted to rent out the 36.53 square feet room as a bedroom then: –

  1. The private landlord would not be allowed to deem this room a bedroom, and
  2. Would not receive the higher HB towards rent – a 3 bed rather than a 2 bed HB payment
  3. Likely to be prosecuted (and knowing the facts of this case they would be)

YET because it is a social landlord the tenant gets persecuted and hit with the bedroom tax deduction and that is discriminatory and this case highlights this general discrimination in the bedroom tax policy.

The issue gives rise to further room size bedroom tax appeal arguments and potentially a judicial review of the policy itself and that is where the emphasis should have been.  It comes about for a few reasons and it is useful to compare the social rented sector (SRS) position to the private rented sector (PRS) position to the same situation of a room of less than 50 square feet being deemed a ‘bedroom’ by the landlord.

Firstly, the PRS landlord claiming a property has 3 bedrooms can and invariably has that property inspected for the validity of such a claim by the independent rent officer service.  The Rent Officer comes out to check and the last yearly figures I have reveal 219,000 yearly inspections.  YET such inspections and the opportunity for these to be conducted on social housing properties was taken away by this government in April 2013 when the bedroom tax started.

For more click here:  SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)