Affordable Rent? The facts reveal the asocial reality of tenant shafting and landlord greed

Find any way to evict the current tenant as the new one will pay three times as much in rent is the reality of the Tories affordable rent policy and the policy has this massive built-in financial imperative and incentive for social (sic) landlords.

Here are some actual examples from the official figures (SDR) for 2017/18 for 2 bedroom properties and the locations also revealing this is not a London or high rent only area issue:

  • In Bromley £112.02 per week the new tenant paying £335.01 per week.
  • In Exeter £88.98 per week to £257.96 per week and,
  • In Salford £79.84 per week moves to £225.57 per week.

These are ‘conversions’ in housing and Tory speak which means when the existing tenant leaves that exact same property the next week has its former social rent level converted to an affordable rent basis and in the cases above the rent triples overnight.

By March 2018, which is still the latest full data until later this month, housing associations in England had 208k general needs affordable rent properties (a further 13k sheltered and supported AR rents) of which 113k were these ‘conversions’ so a majority of affordable rent level HA properties were formerly rented at the much lower social rent level.  For reference and context the affordable rent regime is 100% discretionary.

Not only is the Tories affordable rent regime a policy that massively incentivises a social landlord to evict the current tenant, it has been taken up with unabandoned glee by housing associations that have the temerity to call themselves social.

Two quick points of (a) the same offensive AR conversions are also used by council landlords so it is not just housing associations who are asocial heartless bastards; and (b) the figures used above are not the highest figures as for example 3 bed properties in Reading have a social rent of £128.81 per week and an affordable (sic) rent level of £442.88 per week and the rent on the exact same property has increased 3.5 times!

Affordable Rent? Affordable!?

The AR regime is a con.  The Tory government slashed housing grant which is capital subsidy to social landlords in 2010/11 and replaced it with the affordable homes programme which spawned the affordable (sic) rent level which allows council and housing association landlords to charge the tenants more (revenue subsidy) to replace and mitigate.

In short government has said to the social rented sector if you want subsidy to develop new housing get it from tenants as you are not getting it from government!  That is what the affordable rent regime is all about.

The morality of charging tenants huge amounts more in rent so as to subsidise future tenants or even future home owners as the excess charged in the affordable (sic) rent regime is also used by social (sic) landlords to develop new private home sales and new shared ownership (sic) properties, as frankly, the amoral abhorrence is there for all to see and requires no further comment as to its amorality.

By March 2018 English housing associations had ‘developed’ 208k general needs or mainstream properties at the affordable rent level and a further 13k supported and sheltered housing properties at the AR level.

The 208k general needs properties saw housing associations in England charge tenants circa £568 million per year more in rent than at the social rent level and have helped English housing associations post profits of over £6 billion per year for the past two years.

The supposedly social rented sector gets angry when you call this profit and insist they are surpluses however some HAs do have the honesty to label themselves as profit for purpose organisations though what the purpose of such profits is, is very moot.

The National Housing Federation is calling on government to give HAs £70k capital subsidy per property per year (as did the Shelter Commission Report earlier this year) and divide the £6bn+ profits HAs make by £70k and the profits are enough to develop over 85,000 new homes per year yet HAs have never managed half of this total new housing in any one year.

More than half of these alleged ‘profits for purpose’ is NOT going into new housing!

Overall, the latest overview of official SDR figures reveals by March 2019 there are now some 230,000+ general needs HA properties in England at the affordable rent level though the full data release will be released later this month.

It means 10.7% of all English HA general needs properties are at the AR level and have got there in just seven short years.  Some English HAs have over 35% of general needs properties being at the mistermed affordable rent level, or simply they are greedier bastards than the average greedy bastard and tenant-shafting housing association … and, of course, still proclaim that they are social landlords at every opportunity so more correctly we can label them as knowingly deceitful as well as asocial greedy bastard landlords.

What definition of the word social when placed before landlord, housing or purpose means or can possibly mean we evict the tenant to replace with one paying three times as much in rent?

This type of social (sic) landlord is a bigger and nastier bastard than the stereotypical private landlord that social landlords portray as part of their business case and aided and abetted by the likes of Shelter and others.  Yet the facts of the affordable (sic) rent regime prove that some social landlords are taking the piss out of tenants far more than some private landlords.

As the purpose of language is to be not misunderstood rather than being understood I make no apology whatsoever in using greedy bastard and taking the piss and other vernacular.  Those terms are not cynical they are valid.

The only offence the reader should take and can take is the facts not my language.

To conclude I came across a clever picture the other day that aptly demonstrates how social landlords see themselves while revealing their reality at one and the same time.

apple reflection

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One thought on “Affordable Rent? The facts reveal the asocial reality of tenant shafting and landlord greed”

  1. You are totally incorrect about reversible austerity.
    Doing so would again encourage fecklessness.
    The two child policy; Spare Room Subsidy NOT the Bedroom Tax as you describe it and the OBC are ENTIRELY appropriate policies and should be maintained.
    Indeed the OBC should be further reduced and the hours required to be worked to avoid the OBC should be increased from 16 to 25 hours pw.

    Your continual railing against private LL is pathetic.
    You DON’T seem to accept that the private LL are entitled to try and achieve the maximum of rent.
    They are subject to market forces and if they find resistance from tenants to pay certain levels of rent then the LL won’t have any tenants!
    Nobody forces any tenant to enter into a rental contract.
    It is their choice to pay the rent required.
    Such rent levels may well be considered exorbitant but if they were then the LL wouldn’t have any tenants.
    The market will always control the rent levels that LL are able to achieve.
    Rent controls would simply result in LL leaving the PRS.
    Indeed this is already happening due to all the ridiculous anti-LL policies being imposed on them.
    Tenants need more LL bringing more supply to the market as it is only increased rental supply that will control rents.
    The likes of idiot Labour; GR and Shelter etc are causing LL to leave the PRS which does tenants no favours at all.
    If rents are high that is NOT the fault of the LL.
    That is due to the market.
    This market has been vastly affected by MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION.
    SINCE 1970 the UK population has grown by 12 million.
    The Housing infrastructure has certainly not kept pace with such population growth.
    This has simply been a failure of ALL Govts since 1970.
    Where I do totally agree with you is the complete failure to supply Social Housing at Social rents.
    Providing this obviously costs the taxpayer fortunes.
    There is no alternative for the good of those that qualify for social housing than to provide it at Social rents.
    Govt simply has to accept that it should not be a requirement to make a profit out of Social Housing.
    It is something that should be subsidised by the State.
    It is simply not possible to house what are mostly the feckless in anything decent other than Social housing.
    It simply has to be accepted by the taxpayer that they will have to pay fortunes to house the feckless.
    Even the feckless have a right to be housed decently.
    Hopefully they would be encouraged out of their fecklessness.
    This won’t be easy but at least if decently and affordably housed they may strive to rise above their fecklessness.
    Clearly HB must be set at Social rent levels.
    But under no circumstances should Social tenants receive sufficient HB to enable them to live in expensive areas.
    They should be deported to cheaper areas of the country.
    So more Social Housing should be built in cheaper areas and the feckless deported to them.
    There is no need for the feckless to be housed in expensive areas which is usually where there are lots of jobs.
    They aren’t interested in obtaining jobs so there is no point in them residing in expensive areas.
    But certainly your principal concern regarding the unaffordability of council housing is well made.
    As a basic principle I contend much like yourself that ALL Council/HA housing should be charged at social rents.
    Yes this will mean massive public subsidy up to 50%.
    There is no alternative.
    Doing this would massively reduce the HB bi and hopefully all HB tenants will be in social housing.
    The PRS wants NOTHING to do with DSS tenants
    It would do far better if it didn’t house DSS tenants.
    These tenants should be in the Social Housing sector.

    Liked by 1 person

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