20 million wrong Universal Credit decisions each year … time to UC off

Universal Credit will be claimed by 8.5 million UK households and each will have at least 12 decisions each year.  Of these 102 million individual UC decisions each year 20% of them will be wrong and result in short payment says the National Audit Office.

Over 20 million wrong and underpayments each year yet we still have idiots calling for a stop and fix rather than stop and abandonment policy!  We still have idiots saying UC is fine in theory it is only the implementaion that is wrong! Wake up and smell the coffee.

What is wrong with Universal Credit is that it is THE most incompetent social welfare policy ever created.  It is incompetent by design.

rudd and ids

Frankenstein IDS and his latest monster Rudd

After more than 5 years since it began to be rolled out nationally in October 2013 so many basic errors and faults and flaws have still not been corrected and we see the NAO state that 1 in every 5 decisions is wrong.  You cannot even roll the UC turd in glitter any more and the policy has to be abandoned.

Even the latest concerted challenge to stop UC rolling out before Christmas 2018 on the basis it will cause hardship at Christmas is idiotic.  Its basis is leave it till January 2019 and presumably on the basis that the abject poverty it creates on implementation is somehow fine if it occurs in January and February but not in December!!

Sir Amyas Charles Edward Morse, KCB is the Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office (NAO), an independent Parliamentary body and who wrote to the Secretary of State Work & Pensions (ie DWP) in July 2018 (see here) informing the then SSWP Esther McVey that 20% of Unversal Credit decisions are wrong

We also know that 20% of claimants are not paid in full on time and that the department cannot measure the exact number of additional people in employment as a result of universal credit.

  • 20.4 million wrong UC decisions each year
  • 1.7 million wrong UC decisions each and every month
  • 1.7 million UK households being underpaid each and every month
  • Over 4 million men, women and children directly placed into poverty  (1.7m households containing 2.4 people) each and every month due to this incompetent farrago of a policy

Over 5 years of “Stop and Fix” aka “Test and Learn” activities to fix this policy of its most basic of errors and it is still not fit to even be called a turd.

If 1 in 5 UC decisions are wrong NOW with just 10% of the intended full UC cohort claiming this incometent mess of a policy and after more than 5 years of piecemeal changes in the test and learn strategy then imagine what  it will be like when UC expands to ten times its current claimant number!  So far the UC 10% are the easiest and least complex cases of (mostly) single persons.  The Government test and NOT learn policy cannot even roll the policy in glitter on the easiest and least complex cases!

Universal Credit is a failure by design.  The Government UC test and learn policy is also a failure.

 

 

 

 

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Work will set you free … and allows the Tories to lie, dissemble and avoid

If you work for half an hour per week you are officially classed as employed!!

employed nao statistics

The above definition can be found here in a release today from the National Audit Office (NAO) who compile the official figures for Government and will surprise.

The initial Tory response to the damning United Nations report on how austerity has created poverty was to cite the mantra there are more in work than ever before yet being officially classed as emloyed means 30 minuts of work per week!

Any challenge to the current Government is met with we have the highest employability rate we have ever had or something similar.  It is used as a stock excuse, a deflection, a way of not accepting ANY questions as to how austerity is a political choice or that it is a direct cause of poverty or homelessness or any other social ill.

If work will set you free and if work is the best route out of poverty which are two phrases the Tories repeat ad infinitum then (a) why do the Tories sanction you if you work less than 35 hours per week, or; (b) classed you as emloyed yet still hit you with the overall benefit cap cuts averaging £3,500 per year if you work less than 30 hours per week?

I could cite literally scores of other examples when the Tories hide behind the UK employment rate but I am going to keep this short and sweet as the fact that you ARE classed as being employed if you work 30 minutes per week is a staggering issue that if widely known would stop allowing Government off the hook when they use the UK employment rate as deflection to avoid answering real questions that so so many want to know.

 

Open letter to English council and HA tenants: How to save thousands on rent

  • Do you want to pay more in rent?
  • Do you want to pay more in bedroom tax?
  • Do you want to be hit by the overall benefit cap sooner rather than later?
  • Do you want to face more poverty and greater risk of eviction and become homeless?

If so then do not respond to the government’s current consultation by 8 November that seeks to do precisely that by imposing on you a yearly rent increase of 1 per cent above inflation from 2020 to 2029.

This additional one per cent over and above inflation may sound trivial yet it means by 2029 the average council and housing association tenant will have paid £3,500 more in rent than they need to.  1% doesn’t seem so trivial now does it?

The Tories intended rent policy is like five bullies demanding your child’s pocket money and hoping one of them buys you sweets in return for the money they stole.

The purpose of this additional one per cent rent rise is – the Tories inform – for it to be used by council and housing association landlords to build new housing which is needed YET all of them will get this extra rental income but only 1 in 5 of these landlords actually develop new houses. Even the 1 in 5 social (sic) landlords at most that currently develop new housing have no commitment or obligation to build with this additional taxpayer money they receive through Housing Benefit.

This additional 1% on the £15 billion per year they currently receive in Housing Benefit is an extra £150 million of taxpayer money in 2020 rising to £1.95 billion extra in 2029. The Tories by 2029 will have given council and housing association landlords a total of £9.86 billion extra in Housing Benefit just from this additional 1% and social tenants not in receipt of Housing Benefit will have given a further £5 billion in the increased rents they will have paid these social (sic) landlords.

How every council and housing association tenant and indeed every taxpayer can oppose this largesse and frittering away of public money I explained here and it tells you how it takes 2 minutes to oppose. A standard letter to copy and paste and the email address to send it to can be found there. That is all it takes and how strange that none of the so-called scores of social tenant groups who claim to represent social tenants have urged you to do this eh? Make of that what you will!

More importantly if you do not want to pay more in rent and more in bedroom tax and go more into poverty then you need to oppose this idiotic proposal from the Tories and it really does take 2 minutes to do so.  The higher the rent you are forced to pay the greater the chance of poverty, eviction and homelessness you have and so do your children and their children.

You will note my detailed standard template letter (that you are free to amend) includes an alternative suggestion that will see many more new social homes built and at no extra cost to government or to you the tenants.

Do you want your children and their children the chance to live in a truly affordable home? If so then oppose this above inflation rent increase for that reason. It really does take two minutes and no more and your children and theirs will thank you for it.

Finally I finish with what is a spreadsheet table full of figures that roves all of the above and many find off-putting yet these are the facts as numbers do not lie and 2 plus 2 always equals 4 unless you are a politician or call yourself a social (sic) landlord!

Table 1 – Council and HA tenant rents at inflation only and inflation + 1%

table 1 rents 2.4%

The figures in red show how much more tenants will unnecessarily be forced to pay in rent from the Tories perverse proposal each year and a cumulative total.  The way to stop this is to oppose this and click on the link here to do so

 

 

 

Chancellor – Here’s a £12 billion per year saving on the housing benefit bill!

It is budget day so how would you like to save £12 billion per year on the housing benefit bill Chancellor? It’s simple as I explained a few weeks ago.

IF the Tories stick to their intention to let council and HA rents rise by inflation plus one per cent then the current £15 billion social housing HB bill will increase to £46.48 billion by 2050. IF they limit it to inflation only (CPI) it will increase to £34.42 billion instead and £12 billion is saved and just from social housing.

IF the government sweep this already committed additional 1% into a centrally held housing subsidy fund there would be enough in it by 2050 to build 118,406 new social housing properties each with a £101,852 subsidy thus solving the housing crises of supply and build affordability. This is a much more efficient use of taxpayer money as now we see 100% of council and HA landlords getting the increase yet just 20% of them actually develop new housing. This plan sees the capital fund only going to those who do build and hence guarantees more new housing that is funded efficiently.

Quite why the government has not asked itself why it pays council and HA landlords more than inflation with nothing in return is a question that beggars belief!

The average tenant would also be paying £213.10 per week in rent at CPI only instead of £288.02 and paying £3,909 per year less in rent thus solving the housing crisis of tenant affordability. Take the simple spreadsheet below that confirms all this and one that takes a 7 year old five minutes to create: It is not rocket science and in order to explain lets start with the first 5 years

Table 1

cpi srs first 5

Currently council and HA landlords receive £15.07bn in housing benefit (and UC equivalent) so at inflation plus one per cent this increases to £15.63 billion yet at inflation only goes to £15.48 billion per year.  The difference of £0.15 billion or £150.7 million goes into a subsidy pot that social landlords can bid for. At £50k per property subsidy this means 2,943 new houses in 2020 have such subsidy.

Take the same process and increase the £50k subsidy each year by inflation, CPI is currently 2.4%, and in 2021 the £311 million capital pot enables 6,075 new house at a £51,200 subsidy each, this being £50k plus the 2.4%. By 2024 the saving on HB is £854.7 million enough for 15,547 new houses each with a £54,976 subsidy.

Carry on the same process each year and we find the figures for 2040 to 2050 in the Table below

cpi last 10 to 2050

The seemingly small 1% figure above inflation by 2050 sees the housing benefit bill for council and HA landlords that would be £46.48 billion at CPI+1% be over £12 billion per year less at £34.42 billion and this £12 billion (£12.0599bn) be enough to build 118,406 new social housing units that year each with a £101,852 capital subsidy.

From already committed public expenditure Government could make much more efficient use and see in 2050 some 118,406 new houses being built all with capital subsidy.  The government also benefits politically from tenants being much more able to afford to rent and thus afford to save and save more for a mortgage deposit and reverse the decline in UK home ownership.

The average social tenant by restricting rent rises to inflation only would be paying £3,909 per year less in rent.  Put another way why should a council or HA landlord get £3,909 per year more in housing benefit if they give no return in the shape of new housing for this taxpayer money?  Quite simply they shouldn’t!

Existing social tenants need to kick up a fuss over this proposed inflation plus one per cent rent rise.  Ask any tenant is they would rather pay £213 or £288 per week in rent and they will obviously choose the former and tenants should take the opportunity to email in their opposition to the proposed plus one per cent rent rises which they can do in 5 minutes by copying and pasting a template letter I drafted here.

Related to the above is a report from the Conservative think tank the CSJ that was set up by Iain Duncan Smith late last week which said in shock horror terms that the overall housing benefit bill could reach £70 billion a year by 2050 and it time to stop the ‘let HB take the strain’ policies that have been constant in housing and HB policy for decades.

The simple inflation plus one per cent proposal of the current government takes the HB spend from its current £15.07 billion to £46.48 billion and means it more than triples just by this additional one per cent over inflation figure.  There is no shock horror this is the most basic arithmetic of the idiocy of government policy.

While there is no suggestion from government to increase the private rented version of housing benefit in LHA a tripling of the current £24 billion housing benefit bill would mean £72 billion by 2050 so the £70 billion figure is being used for political purposes and is not some revelatory issue … as I said above a 7 year old could knock up a spreadsheet in 5 minutes to reveal that!

Existing social tenants should be thinking of themselves and their children who could well be the replacement tenants by 2050.  Do you want your children paying almost £4,000 more in rent each year than they need to?

The taxpayer not in social housing should be kicking up a fuss too as why should these so-called social landlords be favoured by government with almost £4000 per year more than inflation in taxpayer money for no return and no social good?

Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green, SNP, Plaid Cymru and even Monster Raving Loony Party supporters and MPs should all get on board with this proposal as it will provide a systemic and apolitical way to solve the UK housing crises of supply and affordability.  Whichever government is in power will not have the UK Housing Crisis to deal with as it will be solved and at no extra cost than is being proposed (and note well that inflation-busting social housing rent rises such as CPI+1% are the norm and used to be higher at RPI+0.5% and then plus a further £2 per week.)

Finally, it is time to stop the inefficient largesse that council and housing associations have had with above inflation rent increases year on year and recycle that taxpayer funding into a solution that means your children and their children will have somewhere to live that they can afford and begin to see social housing as a stepping stone to home ownership which it is much better at than privately renting at more higher rents.

Go figure Chancellor!

 

Housing First -The expensive sham that will double rough sleeping

Which inhabitant of Cloud Cuckoo Land believes local councils will commission Housing First (HF) visiting support that costs £40 per hour and two and half times more than the £16 per hour councils pay for visiting home care for housebound pensioners?

domcarerate

I don’t want to say I told you so, but I have told you repeatedly that Housing First is an expensive con trick that will cut support to single homeless persons in half and directly cause far greater homelessness and rough sleeping.

Housing First is a sham, it’s a deluded con trick that cannot work and yet the great and the good and the so-called homeless experts as well as deluded politicians from all parties are lauding this to the hilt with hyperbole that beggars belief

I first told you this here in July 2017 when the Crisis / IBA report came out about HF in Liverpool.  I reminded you again in February this year (here) that summarises and elaborates when the St Mungos / University of York report came out and I tell you again today as the national media is awash about visiting home care as part of the UK’s social care crisis as care providers are lobbying for funding at 40% of the HF hourly cost.

Housing First (HF) is a model that gives a house first and then provides visiting support to the person and it is this visiting support that is the problem.

HF visiting support has an hourly cost of £40.00 in the reports commissioned by Crisis UK and conducted by Imogen Blood Associates and the St Mungos / University of York research that has led to the current government funding pilot and other programmes of HF.  It is the central strategy in the Tories disingenuous assertion that they will eradicate rough sleeping by 2027 and the cost simply does not add up.

Moreover, there is a finite budget for funding homeless support and when the HF model costs around double the current resettlement model (that attracts £20 or so per hour) then it can only ever buy half the amount of homeless support services that are funded now.  Support to all forms of homelessness will reduce by 50% if all homelessness support services become this disingenuous HF model!

To all those who struggle with those pesky unambiguous facts called numbers imagine a yearly homeless support budget of £200.  The HF model at £40 per hour means the homeless funding budget can deliver 5 hours of support yet the current resettlement model of hostels etc that has an hourly cost of circa £20 per hour means 10 hours of support can be afforded and double the amount of support going to those who are homeless!

The latest proof emerges …

Today sees a report on home care across the national TV news and other media with the headline that councils are trying to fund it on the cheap and the home care providers saying they need £18 per hour to break even yet local councils are paying an average of £16 per hour and this cost disparity is a major reason why we have a social care crisis.

The report on the BBC website succinctly sums up this funding problem:

What did the research find?

More than 850,000 people are given support in their own home. About 80% of this is organised by councils, which normally outsource the work to care agencies. The UKHCA, the umbrella group for care firms, asked more than 200 councils and care trusts for information about how much they paid for care.

The average fee was £16.12 an hour, although in some places it was below £13.

The UKHCA said the minimum price was £18.01, once factoring in the cost of running the services and the wages for the care worker was considered.

Can you imagine these home care providers asking local councils why they are willing to pay £40 per hour for visiting support to former rough sleepers yet pay only 40% of this at £16 per hour to pay for visiting support to housebound pensioners!!

The £40 per hour cost of HF?

In an article here I reported the full details of the hourly costs of visiting HF support services citing both research reports that revealed this £40 per hour cost.  It is worth reading again as it details many other aspects why HF can’t work and not just the full detail of its costs.  What I said then is below:

40 ph hf

To keep this short, current policy from government and Crisis and Homeless Link and St Mungos and all the other hyperbolic advocates of the HF model means that they all believe that it only needs half the current support levels to single homeless persons to solve the UK’s homeless and rough sleeping crises!!

My analogy of visiting home care and visiting HF support uses the comparison purely in terms of funding cost.

  • Domiciliary care workers who provide home care typically get paid the minimum wage of £7.83 per hour and so the wage cost is just under half (48.6%) of the average hourly funding of £16.12 home care providers are paid by local councils.
  • HF visiting support workers are paid around £10 per hour and thus account for a quarter of the total funding cost.

So HF workers are paid around 27% more than home care workers yet HF costs 150% more and the deluded idiots of Crisis, Homeless Link, St Mungos and all political parties expect that local government commissioners will pay this £40 per hour Housing First support cost FFS!

If anyone is naive enough to believe that local authority bean counters do not use such analyses as this then please join the Tory government, Crisis, Homeless Link, St Mungos and the rest of the deluded HF advocates on their tour of Cloud Cuckoo Land they are enjoying.

______________________________________________________

My head and heart  goes out to the poor sods who will experience the truly offensive state of becoming homeless.  They will be competing for this ever reducing support provision with so many others too as hostels close en masse and the type of exquisite rant that Ellie Waugh the Chief Executive of Humanity Torbay that is doing the rounds on social media (here and a must watch) will be the rule not the exception.

housingfirst blocked

As you can see above my criticisms of the Housing First model has led to its main Twitter account blocking me for having the temerity to write detailed constructive criticism of this heap of deluded nonsense.  It is rude to spit even when it is a dummy yet so many con artists are jumping on the superficial HF bandwagon and banking on its chronically inefficient use of taxpayer money for their own provider gain – making profit at the expense of those who are forced to sleep on the streets and under hedgerows is particularly offensive isn’t it!

HF reality

Constructive and knowledgable criticism such as the above sees the deluded money grabbing charlatans who promote HF do all they can to silence you.  As you can see from the above the excessive costs of HF is only one of its problems and reducing the quality and quantity of support at the same time is no way to solve single homelessness and rough sleeping yet this is the claim from the Tories, from Crisis et al, from deluded regional mayors of Rotheram in Greater Liverpool and Burnham in Greater Manchester who have been taken in by HF hyperbole and delusional nonsense that expects local council commissioners to pay so much more for an inferior service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robbing the disabled to pay the social landlord is Tory rent policy

Further and as yet unannounced welfare cuts to lone parent and disabled households of at least £1 billion per year to pay for increased profits for council and housing association landlords correctly describes the Tories rent policy.

These additional welfare cuts are mandated by the Tories own self-imposed welfare cap policy here which says any additional welfare payments = the £10 billion extra HB in this case – must be met by corresponding welfare cuts elsewhere.

The rent policy is to give over £10 billion more than inflation to social landlords in Housing Benefit over the next 10 years and as their own welfare cap policy means they must make £10 billion of welfare cuts elsewhere to pay for it, then it is a case of robbing the disabled to pay the social (sic, sic, sic) landlord this inflation-busting largesse.

The facts and those pesky numbers!

The Tories rent policy proposal (here) is to allow social (sic) landlords to increase rents by inflation plus a further one per cent per year [CPI+1%] a policy that is currently out for consultation and which I advised all 3.9 million English social housing tenants to oppose here.  I now call on all disability lobbies and lone parent lobbies to oppose this policy in the same way by responding to oppose this perverse and offensive policy.

English social landlords currently receive over £15 billion in rent each year through Housing Benefit and/or its Universal Credit replacement as official figures show and it means this additional 1% more than inflation rent rise commits the government to spend £10 billion more in welfare over the next ten years as the simple Table below reveals.

10 billion cuts to pay rent

The table reveals how much the overall Housing Benefit bill will increase with the Tories proposed CPI+1% policy and how much it would be if council and HA rents are limited to inflation only or just CPI.

Over ten years the additional amount of HB that the Tories are proposing to pay out to these social (sic) landlords is over £10 billion more and as HB comes under the welfare cap policy it means £10 billion of as yet unannounced welfare cuts will need to be made to pay for it.

  1. Will the Chancellor announce in the upcoming budget where these £10 billion of further welfare benefit cuts will come from?
  2. Has James Brokenshire, the housing minister, got the agreement of the Chancellor to pay out this additional £10 billion of welfare?
  3. Will Esther McVey, the DWP Minister, enlighten us where these additional £10 billion of cuts are to come from?

These are just 3 of the questions that spring to mind and all require an answer in order for the current rent consultation paper closes!

How can this Tory rent consultation be in any way meaningful or fit for purpose if they include this £10 billion largesse proposal with no information on how this additional funding can be made?

Perhaps the Tories have a magic money tree to find this £10.04billion more than inflation they are proposing to give council and housing assocaition landlords over the next ten years and note well the consultation says these increases are for ‘at least’ 5 years.

cpi consultation

Late last week I discussed in apolitical terms how permitting CPI only rent rises will benefit Government, the economy and tenant and guarantee more new housing is built which is the claimed intention of this additional 1% largesse here. I also drafted a simple template letter withing the post so that all opposed to this perverse and offensive policy that will cost every English social tenant £8,400 more in rent than necessary can do so.

Feel free to amend this letter by asking where the £10 billion of additional welfare cuts are to come from to pay for this social (sic) landlord largesse.

In summary, this Tory rent proposal for social housing must be opposed and opposed before 8 November 2018 and takes two minutes for all those concerned to oppose it by email which I again urge you to do

How English social tenants can save £8,400 in rent – and takes two minutes!

The Conservative government has a current consultation paper on council and housing association rent increases in England (only) that the 3.9 million English social tenant households should oppose en masse.  And it is so simple to do by email.

Why would social tenants NOT oppose a proposal that sees them pay out on average £8,400 more in rent over the next fifteen years? That’s around £580 per year more in rent each year and coincidentally the same £580 per year that benefit tenants have lost out by the social security benefit freeze of the Tories austerity programme since 2015.

How typical that the benefit freeze draws lots of media attention yet there is absolutely bugger all about the shafting of the social tenant that has seen 34% average rent increases (2010 -17) that have been 4 times benefit inflation (8.3%) 3 times wage inflation (10.8%) and double prices or CPI inflation of 16.6%!

The government proposes to increase rents by inflation plus an additional 1% that will see the average social tenant pay £8600 more in rent over the next 15 years than they should. A simple two-minute email response from English tenants can stop this and I am encouraging as many tenants as possible to do precisely that and send an email to   SocialHousingRents@communities.gsi.gov.uk opposing this unjustifiable and perverse rent increase.

Some groups of tenants such as disability groups and some London and other tenants groups have become more vocal these past few years yet still remain insignificant in number. Opposing the perverse (see below) proposal to increase rents by 1% more than CPI inflation is a great chance for 3.9 million households with 5 million plus voters to flex their muscles for the first time ever and en masse.  All it takes is a two-minute process of sending an email too!

If tenants do this then the government HAS to consider it and especially if they propose the alternative which is rents to increase by CPI inflation only that is a proposal that benefits tenants and government and the taxpayer and guarantees more new housing will be built which is the government rationale for this inflation busting proposal.

Template Letter (feel free to amend)

Tenants can copy and paste the following template letter and email to the email address above of SocialHousingRents@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Dear MHCLG

I am a social housing tenant in England and my post code is [INSERT]

I write to oppose your plan for an inflation-busting rent increase by council and housing association landlords in England for the at least 5 year period commencing April 2020 and do so for the following reasons:

The proposal is perverse as the additional 1% over and above inflation adds an unnecessary 1% to the Housing Benefit (and its UC equivalent bill) that currently stands at £15.07 billion per year.  

In the first year, 2020, this adds a further £150.7 million cost to the taxpayer and in the hope – and nothing more than hope – that social landlords recycle this to develop new housing.  Yet just 1 in 5 English housing associations actually develop new housing so the proposal gives added rent funding to all HAs yet only 20% use this for new housing. That is perverse and a chronic waste of taxpayer money

I propose an alternative which is to limit social housing rent increases to CPI only and to sweep the additional 1% you propose into a centrally held capital subsidy pot that English social landlords can bid for solely to develop new housing.  This guarantees that the additional taxpayer money of £150.7 million in 2020 is used for the intended purpose. 

This model – that costs the exact same to government – continues each year and realises a new house building pot of £311m in 2021, £482m in 2022, £663 in 2023 and £855m in 2024.  The consultation states the rent increase formula is for “at least 5 years” and so if this alternative model continues it realises a new house building pot of £1.06bn in 2025, £1.27bn in 2026 and reaches over £2bn in 2029.  If continued for a further 5 years it realises a centrally held new house building pot of £3.52 billion for the year 2034 in 15 years time. 

On a basis of £40,000 capital subsidy per new house built the £3.2 billion in 2034 equates to around 88,000 new houses built by English social landlords and a social housing new build figure last achieved in 1981. Since 2010 all UK social landlords have built an average of 33,040 per year and this alternative use of the exact same HB/UC taxpayer cost you propose will deliver 166% more new housing units. 

This alternative as well as delivering 166% more new housing also means government reduces the housing benefit bill by £3.52 billion per year by 2034 with its obvious political advantages as it repurposes the current proposal and removes its perversities and targets taxpayer monies with much greater efficiency. 

Additionally, it produces lower rents that are much more affordable to existing and future social tenants.  This reduces poverty and allows social tenants to save more and save more quickly for a mortgage deposit and get on the housing ladder.  It arrests and then will reverse the UK home ownership rate that has fallen from 71% in 2004 to 63% by 2017 and is one of many advantages to government. 

This alternative prevents the supply crisis we have experienced for decades by restoring a programme of capital subsidy that becomes systemic and allows all housing actors to plan with greater confidence.  It develops and maximises new house building from the same amount of government revenue funding and it benefits tenants, government and reduces dependency enabling more tenants to take up employment opportunities as their rents become a lower proportion of their income. 

In short, this proposal gives a political solution to the UK Housing Crisis elements of undersupply and affordability and costs government not a penny more. I thank you for the opportunity and recommend you consider this alternate proposal carefully for all the above reasons. 

Yours 

[TENANT NAME]

Explanation and supporting evidence

What the consultation (here) means for English social housing tenants is illustrated in Table 1 below using the current CPI inflation figure of 2.4% and uses the current All England average weekly rent from the English Housing Survey (EHS) of £102.16:

table 1 rents 2.4%

Hopefully Table I above is self-explanatory and yu can see how the seemingly insignificnt 1% adds an unnecessary rent cost of £8,400 to each social tenant household on average over the next 15 years.

What the figures mean for government are below in Table 2 which reveals the Housing Benefit spend at CPI+1% and at CPI only

Table 2

extra hb with cpi plus one per cent

 

Table 2 also reveals the difference in its final column that should go into the capital subsidy housing pot per year for developing social landlords to bid for.  Note that when the Tories reduced capital subsidy in 2011 it reduced to £1.13 billion per year and this model sees it become three times that figure by 2034 – all at no added cost to government than they propose to pay  out in their CPI+1% perverse plan.

Comment

Typically any government housing consultation sees around 300 responses with at least 299 of them (!!) from landlords and the tenant opinion is never heard by Government and that needs to change.

Average social housing rents increased 34.2% from 2010 to 2017 and more than double CPI inflation of 16.6% in that time as the chart (Table 3) below reveals. That needs to change and the power lies with tenants to change that.

increases and inflations 2010 to 2017

The chart above also reveals that social (sic) landlords with their overall average 34.2% rent rises increased their rents by half as much again as the proverbially ‘nasty’ private landlord increases of 23% over the same period!

Never forget that the 3.9 million English council and HA tenancies contain 5 million voters and no government can afford to ignore that.  It is time that social housing tenants wielded their huge latent political influence.

The purpose of this post is to inform tenants that they can get involved and how easy it is to get involved as copying and pasting my template letter and emailing it IS a 2 minute action for social tenants.

IF just 1 in every 100 English social tenants did email in this letter it would be 3,900 tenant consultation responses from the 3.9 million English social tenants. It would mean 93% of all responses were from social tenants.  The government would have to consider this response that sees English social tenants paying £8,600 less in rent over the next 15 years!

Quite why social (sic) landlords expect preferential treatment in receiving above inflation rent increases year on year when everybody else has to cut their cloth is staggering in its conceit.  Working in housing for 25 years this has always amazed me in principle though prior to 2010 has had little impact for those on benefits as HB has typically kept pace with rent inflation.

Yet as the yellow line in Table 3 below shows average HB increased 22% in the same 2010 – 17 period that average social housing rents increased by 34.2%.  HB went from paying 94% of rent to an average of 86% of social housing rent in that period and many simply do not realise this impact.  It is time they did.

The facts don’t lie only politicians and social landlord apologists do!

Dear social tenants,

It is way past time to send this email and force government and your landlords to sit up and take notice.  Tenants the power IS in your hands and you need to wield it. Please don’t just utter “enough is enough” and sit on your arses and moan! It only takes 2 minutes to save £8,400 in future rent …