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.

North Carolina Woman Being Evicted From Her Own Land For Living in Tent

North Carolina Woman Being Evicted From Her Own Land For Living in Tent

new Saturday 16th May 2015 at 07:47 By David Icke

‘Ingred Larson received an eviction notice from the county today. Why? For living in a tent on her own property. Yes. Really. She is being evicted for living in a tent on her own land.

10 years ago the city sewer line flooded her home with 10,000 gallons of raw sewage. There was a settlement, however the city/county wants her to hook back up to the county sewer system, but Larson does not want to, and would rather hook up to the septic tank system on her property. The county doesn’t want that, and is forcing her to hook-up to the city sewer.’

Read more: North Carolina Woman Being Evicted From Her Own Land For Living in Tent

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’

homes

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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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)

Eviction Britain: More than half a million face having their homes repossessed

Eviction Britain: More than half a million face having their homes repossessed

‘More than half a million Britons are facing eviction from the homes they own or rent, according to a new analysis of possession claims served on households by the courts during the past year.

The scale of the crisis equates to more than 4,000 households being at risk of losing their home each week, Shelter warned today, while more than 215,000 possession claims have been served on people since April last year.

In some parts of the country the situation is so bad that one in 34 households is in danger of being repossessed, according to the charity’s analysis of county court records from England between April 2013 and March 2014.’

Read more: Eviction Britain: More than half a million face having their homes repossessed

Revealed: Why millions WON’T get the £155 new state pension they’re expecting

‘As many as four in five older workers could miss out on the full flat-rate state pension of £155 a week when it is introduced in 2016.
And millions face losing thousands of pounds in inflation-linked increases on company pensions.

The devastating blows, which throw into chaos the plans of those within two years of retirement, have been revealed in a Money Mail investigation into the small print of the new flat-rate pension.

A major pledge of the new pension was that everyone who had paid all their National Insurance contributions would be guaranteed to get £155 a week.

But we have uncovered a series of nasty surprises that are highly complex and technical. And they are likely to mean that many who expected to get the new £155 payout could get far less — and, disturbingly, not even the Government has calculated how much less.’

Read more …

next steps to beat bedroom tax

Pictures displayed by Street Democracy

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next steps to beat bedroom tax

Anti Bedroom tax and benefit cuts campaigners across England and Wales are meeting 7 June in Manchester to decide our next steps to beat the Bedroom Tax and benefit cuts:
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Speakers/sessions:

Scottish Bed Tax Federation, Owen Jones and MP Linda Riordan (who voted against the Welfare cap) invited; DPAC and trade union speakers; plus legal session on how to stop evictions, and on benefit sanctions and workfare.

Make sure you’re there, and your group sends people to hear what’s happening across Britain and decide what we do next.  We need plans to keep politicians under pressure on Bedroom Tax and benefit cuts in the election year.
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What you can do now:
* Send suggestions and proposals for the event * let us know who’s coming *ask unions and others to help pay for travel *bring photos and reports

Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice national meeting:
7 June 12-5pm  Central Hall Oldham St Manchester M1 1JQ.

 
Eileen Short
Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation (England and Wales)

‘Persecuted’ disabled woman is chased for ‘bedroom tax’

‘Persecuted’ disabled woman is chased for ‘bedroom tax’

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An aggressive housing policy that is ‘NOT’ solving the housing crisis placing innately decent poor into perpetual debt and rent arrears.

Street Democracy writes:

The bedroom tax is a housing policy of pain, social disruption and disharmony causing uncertainty, financial debt, rent arrears and fear amongst social housing tenants affected.

I cannot state enough that this aggressive housing policy that upsets the peace and calm of social housing tenants is ruthless and pointless in its architecture and design.

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The disabled poor often need life saving disability equipment and are being penalised for daring to do so if they need that spare bedroom.

It has penalised and discriminated against the disabled poor without mistake, at a high level of ruthless efficiency.

Placing social housing tenants in perpetual debt and fear of their home life stability it is the uncertainty of it all.

Disabled people living in social housing are being targeted for daring to hoard a spare room or space with a window of 6ft x 6ft if they are lucky to accommodate life saving equipment.

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This MP stole £90,000 and that’s ok just pay back £4,500 where as people are missing meals to pay bedroom tax-council tax-rent arrears. An unfair system of the Tories is putting it mildly.

Living daily is an achievement for many disabled people and life is difficult enough as it is without the social demonisation programme of our government.

This is yet another story, another account of this demonisation in full operation damaging the social status of this particular tenant in her home town and community.

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Incredible arrogance while those affected by the bedroom tax have their lives turned upside down-mocked by local Tory Councillors and are socially demonised dividing communities.

It is further poison from our ruthless and toxic government that has caused an absolute uproar over this controversial housing policy.

For more on this diabolical housing policy and the destruction it causes the innately decent folk in need of welfare to survive click here or continue to read:

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Our government is corrupt with the inability to socially connect to welfare claimants and their needs. As long as they get their perks they don’t care about the poor.

‘Persecuted’ disabled woman is chased for ‘bedroom tax’

GRASPING UK Government bureaucrats are taking a disabled Port woman to a tribunal in a desperate bid to overturn her landmark ‘bedroom tax’ case win.

A previous tribunal hearing ruled that wheelchair-bound Margie Sherrard, 52, and husband Roy, 56, pictured, should not pay the £14 per week levy imposed on them because they have an extra room in their specially-adapted Moray Road bungalow.

Wheelchair-bound Margie Sherrard, 52, became the first person in Inverclyde to beat the unpopular Westminster levy last October, because the charge breached her human rights.

A tribunal ruled that the £14 a week subsidy for having an ‘extra’ bedroom in her specially-adapted Moray Road house was unjust because her husband Roy, 56, sleeps there due to her series of health issues.

Those include a complex condition meaning Margie has constant pain and numbness in her legs and relies on the use of a wheelchair to get around.

Her condition is now rapidly deteriorating and spreading to her arms and hands — but she is facing another battle to win her case all over again due to a UK Government appeal.

For more on this harrowing story click here please for more from: GRENOCK TELEGRAPH: 

‘Persecuted’ disabled woman is chased for ‘bedroom tax’

Queen Asked To Stop ‘Heartless’ Crown Estate Evictions By Desperate Residents

Queen Asked To Stop ‘Heartless’ Crown Estate Evictions By Desperate Residents

By  Huffington Post

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People living in properties owned by the Crown are desperately campaigning against being evicted from their homes.

The Crown Estate is proposing the sale of about 200 of its 750 rural homes in the UK.

Profits from the Crown Estate are paid to the Treasury, which then gives 15% to the Queen, the BBC reported.

A 12-year-old girl in Lincolnshire has written to the Queen asking for help out of desperation.

Jasmine Wright, 12, wrote to the Queen, saying: “As you have lived at Buckingham Palace for so long I thought you might understand how we feel.”

Her father, Jason, has set up a petition against the evictionstelling the BBC: “If I were renting from a normal landlord I would appreciate he’s in it for the money.

For more click Huffington Post:

Queen Asked To Stop ‘Heartless’ Crown Estate Evictions By Desperate Residents

Housing Benefit – the myth and the facts and how IDS dupes the Grauniad!

SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)

Joe Halewood writes about welfare rights and welfare reform

Housing Benefit – the myth and the facts and how IDS dupes the Grauniad!

Yesterday the Guardian Housing Network – usually a very reliable source of housing and other data – became the conduit for the Tory led coalitions strategy of saying they have controlled the ‘burgeoning’ HB bill. The HB bill has increased sharply under the coalition despite the bedroom tax, despite the LHA caps, despite the overall benefit cap and other welfare ‘reforms’ introduced by this government to reduce the bill.

Below is a simple graph of the HB costs from 1997 and using official government figures:

The above can highlight a number of simple ‘knowns’ such as:

  • The HB bill has been allowed to ‘take the strain’
  • The HB bill increased from £11.64bn which the Blair government inherited in May 1997 to £20.44bn when they left office. An increase of 75.6% in 13 years and a yearly increase of 5.8%.  It did not double under Labour as has been claimed by Shapps, IDS, Freud, McVey and Hopkins (he is the scarlet pimpernel and the current housing minister in case you want to know) – Though it did triple in the 10 years before that under the Tory governments of Thatcher and major from 1987 when it was £3.8bn
  • The overall cost of the HB bill has increased and increased more under this coalition who maintained in June 2010 that their welfare reforms would reduce the HB bill by £2bn per year by 2014/15.
  • The HB bill is currently £3.5bn per higher than when the coalition took office and therefore £5.5bn over the coalition target!

For more from SPeye Joe Halewood click here…