A mother given 50p a week for housing: the benefit cap one year on

The head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Housing writes in the Guardian: “A year on from the introduction of the lower benefit cap, its abiding legacy is to push people closer to homelessness.

“The cap, introduced on 7 November 2016, reduced the total amount any family can receive in benefits from £26,000 to £23,000 in London and £20,000 outside the capital, leaving families with significant shortfalls between the benefits they get and the cost of their housing.

“In our most recent research we spoke to 18 families with capped benefit across the UK and each time we heard a familiar story – one of stress, struggle and a daily fight to remain in their home.

“Half of those families said they had gone without food, fuel or were otherwise in debt as a result of the cut. Among a raft of other hardships a third said they had been forced to use food banks.”

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The Guardian view on homelessness – do ministers care?

Editorial comment in the Guardian: “The National Audit Office report into homelessness lays bare the legacy of human waste caused by the callous indifference and intellectual vacuity of Compassionate Conservatism, a Tory creed – promoted by David Cameron – where responsibility shifted from the state to individuals, families and communities. Read more

Third of private rented homes fail basic health and safety standards, new analysis finds

From The Independent: The extent of the crisis facing Britain’s private renters is revealed today as new analysis shows millions of tenants are living in homes that contain dangerous safety hazards and have been deemed unfit for habitation under Government standards. 29% of homes rented from private landlords fail to meet the national Decent Homes Standard.

[Read full article on the Independent website…]

Tory member of London Assembly: Overseas investors buying up blocks of new homes benefits us all

Channel 4 News video: Watch Tory member of the London Assembly for West Central, Tony Devenish, literally claim that new blocks of housing being bought up en masse by overseas billionaire investors benefits us all, and that there’s no alternative.

'New homes are not for Londoners or affordable'

“We are building lots of homes but who are they for? They’re for billionaire investors, they’re not for Londoners.”Author Anna Minton argues that new homes in London are not affordable.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Tuesday, August 1, 2017

100 tenants a day lose homes as rising rents and benefit freeze hit

From The Guardian: A record number of renters are being evicted from their homes, with more than 100 tenants a day losing the roof over their head, according to a shocking analysis of the nation’s housing crisis. The spiralling costs of renting a property and a long-running freeze to housing benefit are being blamed for the rising number of evictions among Britain’s growing army of tenants.

More than 40,000 tenants in England were evicted in 2015, according to a study by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). It is an increase of a third since 2003 and the highest level recorded. The research appears to confirm fears that a mixture of rising costs and falling state support would lead to a rise in people being forced out of their homes. It will raise concerns that even those in work are struggling to pay their rent.

High numbers of “no-fault” evictions by private landlords is driving the increase. More than 80% of the extra evictions had occurred under a Section 21 notice, which gives a tenant two months to leave. The landlord does not have to give a reason and there does not need to be any wrongdoing on the part of the tenant.

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One in seven UK private tenants pays more than half income in rent – study

From The Guardian: One in seven tenants privately renting from a landlord is paying more than half of their income in rent, compared with just 2% of homeowners who pay more than half their income on their mortgage, according to new research.

The Local Government Association, which compiled the figures, said high rents were preventing young adults from saving up for a deposit for a home of their own. It said the average deposit now cost 71% of a first-time buyer’s annual income.

The research also found that four out of 10 private tenants spend more than 30% of their pay on rent, compared with only 11% of those with a mortgage.

Councillor Judith Blake, LGA housing spokesman, said: “When one in seven private renters is spending half their income on rent, it’s no wonder we have a rental logjam – with a shortage of homes with genuinely affordable rent, and young people struggling to have enough income left over to save for a deposit

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Number of government-funded social homes falls by 97% since Conservatives took office

From The Independent: The number of new government-funded houses built for social rent each year has plummeted by 97 per cent since the Conservatives took office in 2010, official statistics have shown. In the same period the total number of affordable homes built with government money more than halved – from 55,909 to 27,792.

[Read full article on Independent website…]

7 reasons the Tories will never fix the housing crisis

From Radical Housing Network:

Seven reasons the Tories will never fix the housing crisis

7 REASONS THE TORIES WILL NEVER FIX THE HOUSING CRISIS. Want safe, secure and affordable housing for everyone? KICK OUT THE TORIES.Video by Harriet Vickers for RHN. #ukhousing

Posted by Radical Housing Network on Sunday, June 4, 2017

  1. The Tories say everyone should own their home… but who can afford to buy?
  2. Tory policies help the wealthy. To afford a starter home in London you need to be earning at least £70,000
  3. We could solve the crisis by building council housing… But the Tories won’t do this. Building council housing would save huge amounts of public money.
  4. Millions of us are stuck renting… One third of Tory MPs are landlords. So are they on the side of renters…?
  5. The Tories promise us affordable housing… but they are stopping councils from building it.
  6. The Tories are putting private profit over our need for homes. We don’t need more expensive flats. What we really need is planning regulation and public investment.
  7. Tory housing policy is all about enabling demand, not tackling supply.

“To solve the crisis, we need massive public investment. Not going to happen with the Tories. Want the housing crisis to go away? Kick out the Tories.”

The Tories’ housing record in one meme

Tory record on housing. Judge for yourselves. #ToryManifesto

Posted by The Pileus on Thursday, May 18, 2017

Housebuilding under the Tories drops to lowest levels since 1920s

From Huffpost UK: House building under the Tories has fallen to its lowest peacetime levels since the 1920s, HuffPost UK reveals today.

An analysis of house building going back more than a century shows the most recent years of Conservative rule has seen the lowest average house build rate since Stanley Baldwin was in Downing Street in 1923.

According to figures compiled by the House of Commons Library, an average of 127,000 homes a year have been built in England and Wales since the Tories took office in 2010.

This is the lowest level since Baldwin’s first stint as Prime Minister in 1923, when just 86,000 homes were built.

Labour MP John Healey: Homelessness has doubled since 2010 – the Tories are to blame

John Healey MP writes in the Independent: “It should shame us all that in the 21st-century, in one of the richest countries in the world, the number of people sleeping on our streets has doubled in just five years. Over 100,000 children are now sleeping in temporary guesthouses and hostels – accommodation that’s often cramped, unsuitable and short-term.”

[Read full column on Independent website…]

Number of affordable homes built in England slumps to 24-year low

From The Guardian: Fewer affordable homes were built in the past year than any time in the past 24 years, while there was a 52% fall in the supply of new homes in just 12 months.

Builders put the finishing touches to 32,110 affordable homes in England in the year to the end of March 2016, compared with 66,600 over the previous year, according to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Of those, just 6,550 – about 20% – were for social rent, which critics say is the only truly affordable housing tenure, with the rest made available to rent or buy at “affordable” rates of up to 80% of market value.

Critics said the figures were disastrous, and called on the government to do more to encourage housebuilding. They come as the proportion of households that own a property is at a 30-year low and rising house prices have driven the cost of buying a home to more than 10 times the average salary in a third of England and Wales.

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Full list of landlord Tory MPs who voted against making properties ‘fit for human habitation’

From International Business Times: At least 71 of the Tory MPs who voted against an amendment to force landlords to make sure their properties are “fit for human habitation” are private landlords themselves.

The Conservatives voted against a Labour amendment to the current Housing and Planning Bill to ensure houses were kept to a decent standard by 312 votes to 219, a majority of 93.

[Read full article with list on International Business Times website…]

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