Q1) Why has nobody ever asked social (sic) landlords why they think it is acceptable to let the private landlords rehouse over 90% of all single homeless and 98% of all domestic abuse cases? How can that ever be deemed to be social purpose?
In England we see social (sic) landlords rehousing just 13,000 single homeless persons out of the 140,000+ we have each year
Q2) Why has nobody has ever asked why despite over 50 years of lobbying and with a high degree of general public sympathy that Shelter and Crisis have not even been able to educate the general public that homelessness is not just those who sleep rough? Shelter and Crisis have failed massively with this point yet nobody dares mention it! Why?
Q3) Why is it still the case that for 1 month of the year around Christmas time the general public have sympathy for ‘the homeless’ yet the other 11 months of the year believe they are all drug abusers and other ne’er do wells?
Q4) Why does nobody ask how the f**k have councils and housing associations got away with never ever building the one-bed properties that is the ONLY escape and route out of single homelessness?
Q5) Why will this post be dismissed and labelled as a rant?
That one is not rhetorical reader as that is what happens to any arguments based substantially on fact as they expose the many shortcomings and failings of landlords, government and other homeless experts.
Q6) Why was the decades-old and widely known chronic shortage of one-bedded accommodation NOT considered at all when zealous spin merchants such as Crisis decided that the Housing First model was a good idea and could work when it can’t do so, and the same chronic shortfall would have a major detrimental impact on the Homeless Reduction Act as drafted?
My piece yesterday on Crisis seeking to blame anyone else for their ignorance at how the Homeless Reduction Act has manifest has attracted lots of positive comment but it is just a case of staing the bloody obvious.
Q7) What incompetent homeless ‘experts’ all lauded the proposal to ban no fault evictions when the obvious consequence is that the same private landlords who rehouse 90%+ of all single homeless persons will flee this market and make this crisis far worse?
Again not a rhetoric question as the answer is EVERY so-called homeless lobby, organisation and expert said banning no fault evictions was good and welcome news!! (Shelter, Crisis, Homeless Link, Generation Rent, Chartered Institute of Housing, National Housing Federation and other social landlord lobbies – aka the ‘experts’)
That last point characterises the homeless ‘expert’ as ignorant of the most critical facts concerning single homelessness across England and further reveals how these ‘experts’ do not have a clue about the needs of single homeless persons. The superficiality that is there with the Housing First model, with the chronic and well known one-bed shortages and the total absence of any homeless user voice into these ‘expert’ organisations is there for all to see.
Try some basic arithmetic on the one-bedded rehousing crisis due to obvious PRS flight from the single homeless market and you will understand precisely why I am ranting and raving over this.
We currently see 130,000 single homeless persons rehoused by the PRS and just 13,000 rehoused by social landlords.
- IF PRS flight is 10% then they will rehouse 13,000 fewer single homeless persons which means the SRS will have to DOUBLE the number they rehouse from 13,000 to 26,000 pa
- IF PRS flight is 20% then they will rehouse 26,000 fewer single homeless persons which means the SRS will have to TRIPLE the number they rehouse from 13,000 to 39,000 pa
My apologies again reader for using basic arithmetic to do what we consultants do best i.e. stating the bloody obvious. I have been getting many reports from across the country from homeless providers I advise of private landlords changing their target tenant from single homeless to students as students are seen as a far lower risk group and they generate as much income if not more than single homeless persons.
This is one of the easy changes that any private landlord will make and indeed are making ahead of the proposed change in the law to ban no fault evictions and as I said here this PRS flight was always going to be inevitable with this extremely ‘populist’ policy change that is as superficial as it gets. Yet, surprise, surprise it will be the single homeless cohorts that suffer and the single homeless person in England is and has always been treated as something unpleasant you step into with your shoe.
Unless we see radical and drastic change that will continue to be the case and which obviates ever greater homeless numbers and ever more perverse homeless ‘solutions’ such as designing a sleeping bag for rough sleepers out of recycled crisp packets, which, I kid you not is proffered as a solution.
Oh you thought I was being over the top when I said we treat the single homeless person like shit didn’t you reader! On what planet is it acceptable and lauded that a rough sleeper is somehow sated with a crisp packet sleeping bag! It’s not as if anyone gets close enough to them to see if they smell of cheese and onion!
It’s a good analogy for how the so-called social rented sector has treated and considered single homeless people over the last 50 years or more however as it has never in the main built one-bedded properties for those of working age.
Q8) Which idiot decided that the Liverpool City Region would be a good place for a large scale Housing First pilot?
The English average local authority has 26% of social rented properties as one-bedded (bedsit and 1-bed) yet the six councils in the Liverpool City Region pilot area have 15% and massively below the English average one-bedded total. Those 26% and 15% figures include sheltered housing properties so these are way more than are available to the great unwashed single homeless person.
Not that I mentioned this salient and highly pertinent housing fact which made it inevitable that Housing First could NOT work when the LCR pilot was first announced in July 2017 (here) and how Crisis were peddling snake oil in saying that it would work in the Liverpool City Region! That must have been me scaremongering again reader by using the darn pesky facts to substantiate my truly outrageous scaremongering. Plus ca change…
Note that the LCR area has no council housing whatsoever in its six local councils and so the Housing First pilot there was doomed to fail anyway and it is struggling to find accommodation even with the circa £900 per week funding for support costs and the fact that LCR has seconded a Crisis employee to head up this pilot!
Official figures also reveal that the housing association 1 bed affordable rent level in Liverpool is higher than the 1 bed LHA rate maximum and therefore why would housing associations rehouse a much higher risk single homeless person when they can get the same return from a very low level risk tenant? Oh and my home city of Liverpool has the highest numbers of affordable (sic) rent properties of any local authority in the UK too! Once again we see the total ignorance and non-consideration of basic yet critical facts when it comes to pie-in-the-sky and superficial as hell initiatives such as Housing First.
But hey the single homeless are only the Burkean great unwashed so who gives a shit …
I leave you with a final question that is a variant of my opening one. AS the private sector landlord rehouses over 90% of all single homeless and 98% of all those fleeing domestic violence and abuse why are council and HA landlords called the SOCIAL housing sector?
Yesterday saw Crisis attempt to blame the failings of their Homeless Reduction Act which does give single homeless persons far more rights than they have ever had on the lack of one-bedded accommodation. The same Crisis in their 2017 Moving On report stated this lack of move-on one-bedded accommodation and in this report they cite the miserly 13,000 one-bedded move-on provided by English social landlords. There is no doubt whatsoever that Crisis knew of the scarcity of one-bedded move on accommodation before they planned and drafted the Homeless Reduction Act. The 13,000 figure they cited is an official figure.
WHEN, not if as it is already taking place, PRS landlord flight happens as a direct consequence of the banning of no fault evictions, we will see Crisis blaming the nasty private landlord! We will probably see Shelter saying this is discriminatory and launching yet another vacuous campaign. We will also see social landlord lobbies such as CIH and NHF all decrying the same ‘nasty’ private landlord for fleeing the single homeless market. I am not singling out the incompetence of Crisis here, I am charging all of the ‘experts’ with that same incompetence and lack of consideration of basic facts.
None of these organisations, none of these ‘experts’ – who all support the banning of no fault evictions – will EVER look at themselves and say the social (sic) rented sector has never rehoused the single homeless. These ‘social’ organisations don’t just reside in their own bubble within a bubble within a bubble, all of those bubbles are made of Teflon as the beneficent, charitable and self-proclaimed unnasty social rented sector is never wrong and their blinkers see themselves as the only sector that houses of rehouses those in ‘housing need.’ The facts say the complete opposite.
- The private landlord rehouses 9 single homeless persons to every 1 the SRS does and what the 90% to 10% rehousing ratio means
- The private landlord rehouses 49 domestic abuse cases to every 1 the SRS does and what the 98: to 2% rehousing ratio means
Hand you heads in shame council and housing association landlords with those facts!
- How the hell have council and housing association landlords got the temerity to launch campaigns called (a) End Homelessness; (b) Make A Stand; or (c) Cathy Come Home when your factual record on rehousing those homeless and those who have fled domestic violence and abuse is so appalling?
- WHY has Shelter or Crisis or any other national homeless or welfare lobby such as JRF not hauled the so-called social landlord over the coals for their appalling records on housing and rehousing those who suffer the appalling state of being homeless?
- Why have politicians of all parties NOT challenged the so-called social landlords over their appalling record on rehousing homeless persons, even the political sensitive ones such as the one-third of women in domestic violence and abuse refuges who are one of the single homeless cohorts?
The above 3 questions never raise their ugly head. Reader I can speculate all I like as to why that is but I won’t. Instead and in light of the facts, I merely say you should ask those questions. In fact, you should scream those questions from the rooftops at every opportunity you get.
If you don’t then you may as well start knitting crisp packets into blankets to salve your conscience over those who are homeless or have fled domestic violence and abuse