Affordable Rent “…a few quid more?” No it’s Bolton’s second Bedroom Tax!

In Bolton 1,941 social tenants get a £750 per year cut in the bedroom tax per year.

In Bolton, the former council landlord now called Bolton at Home charges 2449 of it tenants £750 per year more in rent through the affordable (sic) rent policy. 

Bolton at Home has therefore charged 26% more of its tenants the equivalent of the bedroom tax because … well because they can do and out of choice!

jl response large

l have been writing a lot about the affordable rent policy, a policy which allows, indeed incentivises social (sic) landlords to evict the current tenant so it can charge the new tenant so much more in rent.  The tweet above is how the chief executive of Bolton at Home seeks to justify this with oh its only a few pounds more line of argument. 

Jon, the actually amount the housing association you run charged in added AR rent in 2016/17 was £1.84 million per year.  That’s a £1.84 million increase in poverty to Bolton at Home tenants and an added £1.84 million per year risk to homelessness for Bolton at Home tenants. 

You charged:

  • £6.48 per week more for 54 one bed properties;
  • £12.58 per week more for 1,083 two bed properties;
  • £16.07 per week more for 1,267 three bed properties;
  • £18.97 per week more for 42 four bed properties; and
  • £24.03 per week more for 3 five bed properties. 

Add that up and in a year Bolton at Home charged 2449 affordable (sic) rent tenants a total of £1,836,872.51 and an average of £750.05 each more in rent.  Here is the full context of the tweeted reply by Bolton at Home:

jl bolton at home ar only coopers

A few quid difference?  – but from 2449 tenants sure adds up to a pretty penny each year doesn’t it.  £1.84 million more per year in 2016/17 and more in 2017/18 and more again in 2018/19 and each succeeding year Jon.  As you can see if you read my post here I wasn’t having a go at Bolton at Home for having the most affordable rent tenancies of all English housing associations and by some distance.  I was having a go at the claimed social purpose of claimed social landlords in operating the AR model that average 44% more in rent from the same properties and the fact it incentivises council and HA landlords to evict the existing tenant and replace with the much higher paying one the very next week. 

I labelled Yorkshire Housing – the landlords in the Channel 5 series Somewhere to Call Home – as the biggest money-grabbing b*stard HA landlord as they have 1 in 3 of their properties at this much higher AR level when Bolton at Home has 16.1% and half the percentage of Yorkshire Housing. 

yorkshire housing ar percentages

The 16.1% of general needs housing that Bolton at Home operate and charge at the higher AR level is much less than the 36.5% operated by Yorkshire Housing though it is still almost double the 8.6% English average for housing associations according to official figures (from which all the figures in this post come) and as the housing regulator figures reveal.

8point6 per cent

What Jon Lord of Bolton at Home is saying in his “only a few quid a week” comment typifies the arrogance of those who claim to be social landlords and the duplicity they have when screaming that they have social purpose

It also inherently see Jon Lord bemoan the fact that Bolton is a low private rent area and that these so-called social landlords would be able to charge their AR tenants so much more if private rent levels were higher!!  There is absolutely bugger all that is social about that and bugger all social about choosing to charge your tenants £1.84 million per year more as the affordable rent model is 100% a choice and discretionary.

Bolton at Home, like many housing associations has formed its own private landlord / lettings company too (R-Haus) as they are not content with just this ‘few quid more’ and want to charge a further 25% more by letting out their properties (yes former council housing too) at the full market rent just as many councils are also doing.  Does forming its own private landlord company reveal that Bolton at Home are not content with just this ‘few quid more’ position they are risibly claiming?  Ahem!! 

The ‘customer’ – the social tenant to me and you – is seen as fair game to shaft for as much in rent as possible by the so-called social landlords who constantly scream they have social purpose and, as I have said before and say again here, Bolton at Home is not the worst offender by far of this commercially driven screw the tenant operations and policies. 

Yet to claim that affordable rent is just a few quid more?  £1.84 million per year more just shows how little consideration housing association and other claimed social landlords give to the individual tenant, to local communities and how much they increase poverty and homelessness by their actions – noting here that these AR rent grabs come on top of way above inflation increases to all their properties as they believe they have a divine right to receive! 

F*cking over the social tenant has become so endemic to social (sic) landlords they are more correctly labelled feudal landlords. 


All of the above is NONSENSE says Jon Lord …. (spitting out his dummy) in response 

nonsense JL ar

Oh dear I appear to have upset Jon Lord as I asked him on Twitter what is this NONSENSE he claims when the figures I use above are figures supplied by Bolton at Home themselves to the housing regulator as part of the Statistical Data Return but Twitter wouldn’t let me reply …

blocked jlord

Blocked !

So a factual reporting of facts sees Bolton at Home seek to stop any form of criticism of them and criticism based on official facts provided by … Bolton at Home!!!  I wonder what customer service they give to 18,000+ households in Bolton?  and those facts supplied by Bolton at Home are ‘half baked ideology’ reader …

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