Social tenants have had DOUBLE the rent increases of private tenants since 2010

Since 2010 social housing tenants have had rent increases of 33.5% and double the 17.4% rent increases of the private tenant!  

You what! Here are the official figures, those damn pesky facts which prove it and record the rent increases from the Tory inherited position at the end of 2009/10 to the latest full year figures we have up until 31 March 2017.

median rents tories

Double the rent increases …. 

We read almost daily of the plight of the private rented tenant and from all sections of the housing industry and national media yet we rarely see any articles published about the plight of the tenants renting in social housing and this post addresses that neglected issue.

Given the governments own official figures (EHS Annex table 1.10) that say 1.23 million existing social tenants expect to buy within 5 years, issues such as rent increases in social housing have a much wider impact than many might think. Every £1 rent increase is £1 less than can be saved towards a mortgage deposit is stating the bloody obvious yet this economic fact frequently gets overlooked in the messy political ideology of how the UK houses its population.

The logical flow from that is the less you spend on rent the quicker you can get on the housing ‘ladder’ and thus lower rents equate to greater home ownership yet social housing rents have increased way above all forms of inflation making it very much harder for the 1.23 million current social housing tenants who expect getting on that home ownership ladder.

Many will be surprised to learn that these social landlords have increased their median rent levels double that of private landlords since 2010. In the same period working-age benefits increased 8.3%, wage inflation was 10.8% and CPI or price inflation was 16.6% and so social (sic) landlords have shafted the social tenant ‘customer’ severely over the period May 2010 to March 2017 (which is still the latest full years figures.)

Additionally average Housing Benefit paid to social landlords increased 21.8% over the same period and so it fell way behind the rent increases they imposed and so ALL social housing tenants have been paying much more towards their rents too and thus have been able to save less for the same mortgage deposit – a trend that will worsen now that Dominic Raab, the Tory housing minister sneaked out inflation busting social rent increases of CPI+1% from 2020 which he did on the afternoon of the day before Good Friday.

One other point on the home ownership crisis is that IF the 1.23 million existing social tenants who expect to be home owners did become home owners the UK home ownership rate would increase from the 62.6% in 2017 to 67.9% and more than 5 percentage points and a high it last reached in 2008/9 – and that is just from existing tenants in social housing.

When you add on the 1.78 million private tenants who expect to buy within 5 years the UK home ownership rate would be 75.6% when its all time high was 70.7% in 2005 and we can safely say that is not going to happen in the current UK housing crisis that I have long argued is much more about affordability than under supply.

Why does the housing and national media ONLY focus on the 1.78 million UK private renting tenants who expect to become home owners within 5 years yet says nothing at all about the 1.23 million UK social renting tenants who expect to buy within 5 years?

In not looking at the plight of the social renting tenant over (a) the % who expect to own; and (b) the total lack of scrutiny and analysis of double the median rent increases for social tenants than private renting tenants, the UK Housing Crisis is woefully inadequate when described as just bloody well build more affordable houses! It is hugely distorted and errant commentary of the UK Housing Crisis as it fails to look at a key cause of home ownership falling from the Tory inherited 67.4% to the 62.6% rate at March 2017 – the unaffordable UK social rent levels.

When the cheapest form of rented housing becomes unaffordable then the inevitable knock-on effect is a sharp reduction in the UK home ownership rate, and as the Tories have now agreed to implement ever higher than inflation social rent levels from 2020 onwards then there will be an inevitable decrease in UK home ownership rates each and every year.

How long before the 62.6% home ownership rate becomes the 58.8% home ownership rate Thatcher inherited in 1979 and the ‘property-owning democracy ‘ Thatcher set in train is exposed as ideologically bankrupt?

It is not just “Millennials” who will not become home owners it is anyone who doesn’t have an existing owned property and positive equity and those who don’t have BOMAD (Bank Of Mum And Dad) who will never be home owners.

In 2010 the median rent of a social housing tenant was 54% of the median private rent. By 2017 that had increased to 62% of the median private rent level due to much higher rent increases in social housing than in the private rented sector.

How has this gone under the radar of the housing media and national media?

That is a rhetorical question aimed at the same housing commentariat of all the usual suspects writing about housing, homelessness, eviction and poverty who almost exclusively focus on the ‘nasty’ private landlord rents and have said little if anything at all about the ‘not nasty’ social landlord whose increases have been double that of the ‘nasty’ private landlord under the Tories!

It is also a question aimed at social housing landlords and the social rented sector as well as the likes of Shelter, Crisis, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and all the rest of the housing commentariat who like social (sic) landlords ONLY and REGULARLY blame the increases in poverty, eviction, homelessness, rough sleeping and all other housing issues on the nasty private rented sector! The same who take umbrage when I post these official facts and say how dare I say they have no social purpose and don’t give a toss about the social tenant!

but then council and housing association landlords would take umbrage and spew scorn over the facts which show they are the real nasty landlords and they who will benefit financially from more ‘customers’ each and every year due to ever reducing UK home ownership rates as they screw their ‘customer’ for more and more in rent each year. 

Facts are so damn pesky …


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