The £20 per week and £86 per month which is £1040 per year cut to Universal Credit is bad isn’t it? It creates poverty and so on … Then what about the £182 per month and £2,184 per year cut to housing benefit for social housing tenants by 2024/25? This is more than double the UC cut and yet nobody bats an eyelid.
Chart 1 below gives a starting point of the current financial year of 2021/22 where the council or HA tenant is charged a monthly rent of £500 and all of that £500 is covered by housing benefit or Universal Credit Housing Cost Element (HB/UCHCE) and the Overall Benefit Cap policy does not affect the SRS household in receipt of HB / UCHCE.
Next financial year from April 2022 to March 2023 social housing rents will increase by the rent formula of CPI+1% based on the CPI rate of September 2021. IF this is the same as the August 2021 CPI rate of 3.2% then social rented sector rents will increase by 4.2% from next April.
In April 2022 the current £500 pcm SRS rent level will increase by 4.2% to £521 pcm as shown. IF all other subsistence level benefits increase by CPI of 3.2% AND IF the overall benefit cap level remains a constant and both of these are the norm then the maximum housing benefit (HB/UCHCE) that can be paid to the same household in the same SRS property reduces from £500 pcm today to £463 pcm as shown on the chart. The rent is £521 per month and max housing benefit is £463 so the SRS household will need to find this £58 per calendar month rent shortfall from their other subsistence level benefits.
The chart shows the same process of 3.2% CPI for the next 10 years and by 2031/32 this process which is how the overall benefit cap works will see a monthly SRS rent of £754 per month yet a maximum housing benefit payable of just £68 per month leaving the housing benefit dependent tenant to find £686 each month over and above the maximum housing benefit to keep a roof over their head.
However, lets say that this 3.2% CPI is an aberrant figure and just a one-off 4.2% SRS rent increase in 2022/23. Let’s look at what would happen if CPI inflation returns to its 2% level that government still set as a target and I look at this in Chart 2 below.
As you can see the same principle happens only to a lesser extent and prolonged yet still INEVITABLY SO even if CPI inflation returns to 2% for 2023 and beyond when a rent top-up of £139 per month will be needed from the benefit tenant.
By 2024/25 the SRS household will find the rent of £500 today has increased to £553 per month and the maximum housing benefit of £500 today will have reduced to £414 for a shortfall of £139 per month and £1,568 per year for the housing benefit dependent tenant.
IF the 3.2% CPI inflation rate is aberrant – which it is – and it returns to its usual and targeted 2% for every subsequent year we see that the manifestation of CPI+1% SRS rent rises in ten years time is a rent of £680 per month yet just £228 being the maximum payable in housing benefit for a monthly shortfall of £458 and a yearly housing benefit shortfall of £5,486 when today there is ZERO shortfall!
The CPI+1% rent formula applies from now until 2024 and even if CPI inflation does return to average 2% by September 2022 which determines the 2023/24 SRS rent increase and remains at that 2% inflation level it still means that the social rented sector of council and housing association landlords is a housing benefit tenant NO GO ZONE by the end of this parliament.
Note well it means all existing housing benefit dependent households in social housing will be evicted as they slide rapidly down the arrears to eviction to homeless slope AND it further means that no housing benefit dependent tenant will get any of the 300,000 SRS properties that become available each year (the prospective SRS tenant) is excluded from getting a council or housing association property.
What we today still (absurdly) call social housing will be dead as a Dodo by the end of this parliament and due directly to the idiotic demands of the so-called social rented sector for inflation busting rent increases year on year. Increases that these incompetent innumerates believe are divorced from the social policy reality of the overall benefit cap policy which creates a SRS landlord strategy of pay your ever-increasing rent else bugger off and which no doubt the SRS apologists will try to defend as social purpose!
In the few short years when council and housing association properties become not just No DSS but NO JOB NO SOCIAL HOUSING will these incompetent innumerates wonder why the government and all subsequent governments of any political hue will no longer give the social rented sector a penny in capital subsidy! The ONLY rationale for ANY government to give SRS landlords capital subsidy is to accommodate those hosueholds who cannot afford private renting or buying their own property so when these incompetent innumerate and ultra-commercially focused idiots make any definition of ‘social’ housing and ‘social’ purpose to be wholly unaffordable to the housing benefit dependent household they are shooting themselves in the foot with a cannon aren’t they!?
In short and very pithy language the government WILL adopt the position of if you won’t house the benefit tenant then SRS landlords can go and f**k themselves if they expect government to give them capital subsidy! IF government does this – and why wouldn’t they as they do not benefit from this – then the greedy b*stard social landlords will only have themselves to blame wont they!?
The very simple charts above dictate that the innumerate idiots of the social rented sector have to abandon their demands for inflation-busting rent rises each year for their OWN survival … which they can wrap up and sell as if they actually care about the lot of the social tenant