Clarion abuses its tenants. Minister(s) & SRS silence is deafening

Imagine trying to sleep in a rented property when you and the landlord know it is infested with rats.

Now imagine that you are in this position for 11 years or 4,000 continuous nights and the landlord won’t do anything. Your landlord won’t do anything for the mice infestation either or the black mould damp or a leaking bath that forces you to wash only in a bucket as it leaks into the downstairs flat … and the landlord charges you £300 per week for living in this hell hole for which you need to work 2 jobs just to keep a roof over your head and those of your children.

Properties like this should be shut down with a form of public health order and landlords who operate them should face criminal charges yet these properties are owned and managed by Clarion a housing association, the UK’s largest landlord of any type, who have known about the dilapidation for 6 years since 2015 if not before and say we aim to rehouse you in a further 5 years time making 11 years or 4,000 nights of you asking the rats to be quieter so you can sleep.

4,000 nights of worrying whether you yourself are in fact guilty of parental abuse for allowing your children to suffer the chronic damp property with all the adverse health impacts damp and black mould has.

Your landlord is the real villain and criminal who is guilty of adult and child abuse for the dilapidated state of the properties they charge you for, mental, emotional and psychological abuse as well as the financial abuse for charging you £300 per week for a property that is injurious to health and unfit for human habitation yet it is self-evident the landlord does not give a toss and can get away with such abuses because they are a social landlord and Private Registered Provider so local and central government will do absolutely bugger all about the 4000 nights of hellish abuse you and 500 other households have imposed upon you.

Imagine your mental state when you find the chief executive of this abusive landlord Claire Miller was awarded a £39,000 yearly bonus for operating this abuse on top of £350k per year in basic salary and awarded that bonus by a board of directors who include Gavin (Lord) Barwell the former housing minister and chief of staff to Theresa May, and the last chief executive of the National Housing Federation David Orr CBE, which is the national umbrella lobby for housing associations such as Clarion.

Last week ITV News exposed the state of these Clarion Housing Group properties and Clarion’s apathy to doing anything about them with Clarion stating this is a financial problem for them and paying indifference to their abuse of tenants whom Clarion has the audacity to call the customer. It was only in the website version of this that it emerged Clarion knew all of the issue in 2015 and 6 years ago and stated it will be at least another 5 years before Clarion do anything. ELEVEN YEARS.

Insert itv clarion

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-06-16/collapsed-ceilings-mice-and-mould-appalling-conditions-uncovered-across-an-entire-housing-estate-of-nearly-500-homes

I posted a piece about it here which was unashamedly and necessarily sweary as this is abuse by Clarion and they need to be brought to book. Clarion is a pariah and no better than the notorious Peter Rachman who believe saying we are so sorry is somehow sufficient, who roll out their Director of Housing on ITV News to say she will personally visit all 500 properties herself and which she has had 6 full years to do but hasn’t bothered in all that time until such PR advice was given to her after this systemic abuse was exposed on national television news.

This is abuse and callous indifference to that abuse by Clarion Housing Group.

The National Housing Federation has yet to condemn this abuse. Neither has the Chartered Institute of Housing, these being the two largest social rented sector lobbies. Their silence is deafening. Shelter, Crisis, Generation Rent, JRF, numerous think tanks and all of the other promoters of the social rented sector have similarly not condemned this Clarion abuse and neither has the Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan or has the Conservative government or the Labour Party opposition.

The collective silence is deafening and in stark contrast to Robert Jenrick the relevant (MHCLG) minister who openly condemned much less worse practices by Croydon Council as landlord n March this year yet has said absolutely nothing about these Clarion abuses.

Insert Jenrick croydon hypocrite

3 March 2021

That too is callous indifference by all of these social rented sector promoters and rank duplicity by Robert Jenrick the minister reponsible.

The social housing main trade journal Inside Housing runs two stories of (a) Clarion apologises and (b) outrage that social (sic) landlords are being targetted by PFI-type disrepair solicitors! How dare they do this says Inside Housing to beneficent social landlords and not focus on the proverbial nasty private landlords … er …

There you have it reader in a nutshell – the indignance of the social rented sector to any criticism, however evidential and however long-term, to their ethereal social (sic) purpose and complete failure to even look at the reality of SRS tenant abuses.

The (tenant) customer is always wrong

Clarion and 11 years of Rachmanism imposed on tenants

Eleven years living in a rat-infested dilapidated shithole is what Clarion Housing Group is telling its tenants to do – ELEVEN FUCKING YEARS.

On Wednesday this week ITV News aired the uninhabitable state of social (sic) landlord Clarion and revealed that Clarion’s policy towards tenants is one of Thatcherite ‘managed decline’ or lump it or leave their scarce social housing.

A Neo-Rachman strategy that aired the full horror of the social (sic) housing shitholes that social (sic) landlord Clarion provide at the affordable (sic) rent level and which 500 households will have to endure for a further 5 years on top of the 6 years they have already endured these dank dilapidated shitholes since 2015.

Clarion say they are so sorry. That is Clarion the UK’s largest landlord and who have on their board the former housing minister Gavin (Lord) Barwell who was also Theresa May’s chief of staff; and David Orr the former chief executive of the National Housing Federation the umbrella lobby for England’s housing associations. Sorry? Oh do fuck the fuck off!

Here is a still from the ITV news video – and believe me this gets much worse:-

Clarion has known about the appalling uninhabitable shitholes on this near 500 property estate since 2015 and admitted it will take another 5 years at least before they can rehouse the 500 households in properties which are habitable.

ELEVEN YEARS – 6 TO DATE AND A FURTHER 5 YEARS!!

ELEVEN FUCKING YEARS in a known shithole is the policy of the purported social landlord and charging the affordable (sic) rent level which is more than double the social rent level as £1300 per month or £300 per week for a three bed property reveals

No lights upstairs for 8 months and pissing in the dark… a ceiling collapse yet still not fixed after 7 months … YET these are lucky tenants paying £300 per week for a Clarion shithole as other tenants revealed to ITV News.

Black mould and the adverse health that gives to tenants doesn’t bother Clarion, neither does not bothering to fix structural problems and Clarion doesn’t give a rat’s arse that tenants have to wash in a bucket as they can’t use the bath. In fact Clarion doesn’t give a rat’s arse about the multitude of rats arses who are living rent free in their purportedly social homes …

If only we could find a way to charge the rats …. is probably an agenda item for the next Clarion board meeting

I could go on and on and deservedly so kicking the lazy fat cat arse of Clarion’s chief executive Claire Miller who was paid a £39k yearly bonus on top of her near £350k pa basic salary last year.

Ordinarily I do not give the same rat’s arse as to how much social (sic) landlord chief executives are paid yet in this case we see Claire Miller getting a £39k bonus for subjecting 500 households to the appalling and uninhabitable conditions of her properties and that simply cannot ever be right. It can never be acceptable to subject tenants to live in these shitholes and imagine the furore if these shitholes had been rented out by a private landlord

ALL directors and board members of Clarion should have all their bonuses since 2015 when these shithole properties were first known to them taken back and given to Clarion tenants on this shithole estate as the first meagre step towards compensation.

ALL of these 500 Clarion properties should have their rents reduced immediately to a peppercorn rent until Clarion has brought all of them up to the minimum standards of habitation. The local council in which these are based should send Environmental Health Officers to every property at the expense of Clarion and then use their powers fully to have outside contractors come in and put these properties to a habitable state and again at the expense of Clarion.

The local authority should also send social workers to every one of these Clarion properties and again at Clarion expense with children as this is tantamount to child abuse.

A few weeks ago Robert Jenrick the minister responsible for housing was very quick to condemn Croydon’s council housing landlord yet has said nothing at all about the much worse shitholes that Clarion provide! Why is this?

The simple reason to answer my own question is that Clarion Housing Group is a housing association, more correctly labelled a Private Registered Provider to reflect their private company status. Clarion Housing Group like all housing associations is a private company and no different to Eton or Harrow schools which also have the same charitable status as housing associations. Clarion and all housing associations are PRIVATE companies unlike the public sector Croydon or other council landlords so they will not get any intervention or even rebuke from this government because they are private and not public sector.

This Clarion scandal needs to be used to highlight the private nature of housing associations and just how little scrutiny or comeback tenants have when they get shafted by these purportedly social landlords. Carry on living in squalor for 11 years or fuck the fuck off is nowhere in any definition of social yet this is precisely what Clarion is doing and has been doing to 500 households since 2015 and which Clarion want to continue for the next 5 years.

This is Rachmanism approved, authorised and turned a blind eye to by Government.

PRIVATE Registered Providers (aka housing associations) own 60% of all that is termed social housing in England – 2.5m properties while council landlords, aka Registered Providers own 1.6m or 40% of all social housing.

In short 3 in every 5 purportedly social homes in England is owned and managed by PRIVATE Registered Providers such as Clarion and they have no real scrutiny or oversight and their tenants can be mistreated in the same way that Clarion treat tenants – Clarion is the new Peter Rachman

Over 80% of English councils are PRIVATE landlords – RIP Welfare State

Over 80% of English local councils are PRIVATE landlords who have set up their own Local Housing Company which by definition is a PRIVATE landlord.

So, let’s begin reviewing the situation ….

The definition of Local Housing Company (LHC) comes from the 2018 Social Housing Green Paper below and this week Inside Housing here reported over 80% of English local councils now have their own Local Housing Company.

The Inside Housing article failed to mention that LHCs are PRIVATE landlord companies who cannot offer secure tenancies and they operate the AST tenure which is often called NO FAULT EVICTION and whose rents are set at FULL MARKET RENT.

The IH article did however mention the huge surge in local councils setting up these PRIVATE landlord companies which have been possible since 2011 but had a huge steer from Government in the 2018 Social Housing Green Paper: –

Researchers at University College London (UCL) have found that 83% of councils in England currently have housing companies, compared with 78% in 2019 and 58% in 2017

In 2019 I wrote a piece here about Liverpool City Council were asserting their Local Housing Company – Liverpool Foundation Homes Limited – was an ethical council housing provider which of course was deceit and propaganda writ large. LFHL was one of the issues mentioned in the Caller Report stating it posted a £700,000 first year loss on its £300,000 turnover as an example of why LCC needed to be taken over and placed in special measures.

Of course the Caller Report did not mentioned that LCC setting up a local housing company saw central government wiped out the billions in debt LCC had with government over its Housing Revenue Account – which was the real reason it was set up in the first place and is evidence of just how desperate the current Tory administration is to bury real council housing;

Ah “council housing” the nostalgic concept of a housing safety net and a key pillar of the 1948 Welfare State that Liverpool and the majority of English local councils no longer have by virtue of giving away their public sector housing for a peppercorn to Private Registered Providers aka housing associations (who also operate the NO FAULT EVICTION AST tenure!)

Perhaps this is part of the Boris Johnson government’s much stated “levelling up” agenda as Local Housing Companies allow councils to operate NO FAULT EVICTION to join private landlords and private registered providers (aka housing associations) whose ‘starter’ tenancies are NO FAULT EVICTION which gets very scant mention in the housing or national media which is still fixated on the private landlord bad / social landlord good narrative … and which fails to report which I am doing here that over 80% of councils are now PRIVATE landlords as they own local housing companies!!

Why oh why oh why?

Intransigent political ideology from the Conservatives who despise (true) council housing as it is public sector housing which purportedly creates more anti-Tory voters. The multi-million former council housing transfer from councils to Private Registered Providers the correct name for housing associations was facilitated and promoted by the 1988 Housing Act although the vast majority and some 1.6million transferred out of the public sector to private sector HAs under the first and second Blair governments.

Housing associations like council owned Local Housing Companies are private sector organisations so their borrowings do NOT count in the PSBR (Public Sector Borrowing Requirement). However, this political circumvention means these landlords borrow from the markets who insist that the maximum return is made on this borrowing hence full market rent being charged and the least possible security of tenure for the tenant – the NO FAULT EVICTION – minimises risk to the return on investment for these financiers eager to get into bed with those who wear the cloak of social purpose.

The Local Housing Company model systemically shafts the tenant with the highest possible rent applied and the minimum possible security of tenure being given and local councils are only too willing to go along with this feodaric capitalist system called landlordism.

Social landlords MORE likely to evict than private landlords official figures reveal. Time to change the errant, deceitful, propagandist narrative!

Social landlords in England & Wales evict far more than private landlords. This has always been the case since official statistics were first published in 1999.

For every 2 private landlord evictions there are 5 by social (sic) landlords

Many will find those facts bemusing as the level of propaganda used by social housing lobbies and sycophantic actors in politicians and homeless lobbies is the private landlord is the bogeyman, the proverbial inhumane and nasty bastard while a ‘social’ landlord is beneficent and wouldn’t dream of doing the ‘nasty bastard’ practises – is the commonly-held view.

An article in Inside Housing today here says so and typifies the chronic deceit and propaganda that characterises the social rented sector. Like all propagandists Inside Housing – the leading trade journal for the social rented sector – even draft a tweet for its readers to copy and retweet to disseminate the propaganda:

The operative phrase that I have highlighted is FOR THE FIRST TIME and that says it all as it means, in ordinary and non-pandemic times, that evictions by social landlords are typically much higher than evictions from private landlords.

The article later puts the numbers on the evictions by tenure to reveal:-

In the first quarter of 2020, social landlords made 14,119 possession claims in the county courts. Private landlords made 5,884.”

In short for every two private landlord possession claims there are five in the social rented sector

The article even goes on to admit that social landlord eviction claims are and have always been higher than those in the private rented sector:

Eviction claims by social landlords have consistently been much more common than those by private landlords since the MoJ began compiling the statistics in 1999”

In short, social landlords evict far more than private landlords in England & Wales

Despite these admissions and facts the public, the politician, the activist, the media and every other actor on the homeless and housing stages believes the overall narrative of private landlord bad / social landlord good.

I am not saying private landlords are good. I am saying ALL landlords can be nasty bastards and the irrefutable facts and official statistics confirm that. I am saying we need to be realistic and label the social rented sector with the same cynicism we only give to the private rented sector. I am saying stop assessing rented housing from the massively errant view of SRS landlord good and PRS landlord bad and wake up and smell the coffee FFS!

The end of the ‘pandemic eviction ban’ is now here and the media is full of articles stating how many private renters will be evicted and perpetuating the false narrative that it is ONLY the private renter who is at acute risk of homelessness. This is unadulterated bullshit and despite the official Ministry of Justice statistics and fact revealing that social landlord evict more than private landlords this patently negligent narrative is the norm.

In August 2020 I posted an article which reported that the projections of those to be evicted post-pandemic and post eviction ban, which is the immediate context today, revealed MORE existing social renting tenants were to be evicted than private renting tenants and which I developed the simplest of graphic charts below.

The above projections from Shelter (July 2020) and the District Council Network (May 2020) are for households not persons to be evicted post pandemic. When we factor in the average household size of 2.3 persons they equate to 625,000 men, women and children evicted from council and HA properties and a further 525,000 men, women and children from the private rented sector making 1,150,000 in total men, women and children evicted due to pandemic arrears – a population the size of Merseyside – so the problem is huge in terms of scale – yet the media narrative is this is only going to happen to the private renting tenant by the nasty bastard bogeyman that is the private landlord.

ALL of the available data, fact and official statistic reveals this to be propagandist bullshit and a hugely errant narrative. Shelter, Crisis, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Generation Rent, the Guardian, the Observer, the Times, the BBC, The Labour Party as the official opposition (such as it is) all promote this errant, deceitful and distorted myth and all are shameless in doing so – as is the assumptive left-wing housing activist who errantly assume that the private landlord is the only nasty bastard when the council landlord and the housing association landlord is just as much, if not more of a nasty bastard.

But hey, they have ALL ignored housing facts for decades whilst they promote the myth of SRS landlord good and PRS landlord bad being correct and not the chronic distortion that irrefutable fact reveals …

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, you’re homeless tomorrow …

Tuesday 1st June 2021, that is …Tomorrow the ‘pandemic eviction ban’ ends.

Tomorrow the private sector owners of dinghy B&Bs have an orgasm – Kerching!

Tomorrow the day that homelessness lawyers similarly have an orgasm – Kerching!

Tomorrow, the day when the 1.15 million men, women and children start to get the roof taken away from over the heads despite this 1.15 million number being known and projected for a year and when absolutely bugger all has been put in place to deal with the shitstorm this will mean!

Lot more than 1 little orphan Annie…

Tomorrow is the day when the Labour Party, Shelter, other homeless lobbies and the Renter Reform Coalition finally realise that THEY have done as much bugger all about this as the government and the day all of these homeless actors say there was nothing we could have done as blame deflection for the absolute bugger all they have done despite knowing about this for a year! In August last year I posted this known position of over 1 million additional homeless men, women and children in a simple chart detailing the projections of Shelter and the District Council Network of post eviction ban homeless by tenure.

500k households at 2.3 person / household is 1.15 million homeless men, women & children

WHY (the fuck) has it taken a year for the one million additional men, women and children about to become homeless before the attention-seeking w*nkers in the media and in politics have gone Oh My God over a million people are about to become homeless!?

Where (the fuck) will these more than 1 million men, women and children live? The dingy B&B type temporary accommodation run by private landlords and hoteliers is the only answer, and of course at massively increased rates given the rules of supply and demand. The extra money homeless lawyers will make while challenging the inevitably unlawful decisions LA homeless departments will make as they strive to artificially reduce the true homeless numbers for which they will have the financial responsibility!

Why the fuck does central government not give a fuck?

Because dealing with hundreds of thousands of homeless presentations is a local government matter … and no doubt Government using the tired old ‘big number’ strategy of ‘we have provided £x million more to local authorities for homeless issues’ … which they know people will believe because they will see £x million as a big number and not equate that with the tuppence ha’penny per capita per homeless household this is…!!

No doubt Dodgy Bob Jenrick will be trotted out on every available TV and radio programme to say just how much ‘big money’ government has given to local councils to deal with homelessness and issue more known deceitful lies about how Everyone In was a success and how caring and beneficent this conservative Government is … blah, bah, blah!

YET all of these deceits and excuses and blame-shifting strategies will mean bugger all and will NOT stop over a million men, women and children losing the roof over their heads will it?

Imagine every single person now living in Birmingham being kicked out into the street and despite knowing this extreme likelihood would happen for a year that bugger all has been done by anyone to address this homeless catastrophe. That is a correct analogy yet because homelessness is the epitome of ‘othering’ nobody gives a shit about this impending disaster and every homeless ‘actor’ has done bugger all about it except try to find the best way to dramatically state the one million homeless number in articles a day or two before this disaster begins.

  1. How many will say or think that it is mainly renting households who will be affected and not realise that rent, both social and private rent level, is higher than mortgage costs and takes a larger percentage of income to afford than a mortgage?
  2. How many will simply say get a job you lazy bastards as there are plenty out there?
  3. How many believe the absurd statement of Shaun Bailey the Conservatives candidate for London Mayor who said homeless persons CAN save for a mortgage deposit?
  4. How many will say that it is the fault of Johnny Foreigner taking all the council houses as Sir Roger Scruton the late Tory peer stated despite all evidence that this is factually incorrect as well as the fact that England has 5 million fewer council houses today than it did in 1979!

These four examples are the typical otherings we have over all forms of homelessness that people WANT to believe and frequently state as assertion despite the facts proving all of these posits are absurdities writ large.

How many will say the additional one million homeless men, women and children is all down to the pandemic and there is nothing that could have been done … and ignore the pre-pandemic status quo of increasing systemic homelessness and Bedroom Tax, Overall Benefit Cap, abolition of Council Tax Benefit and other welfare reforms (sic) and also ignore the recession the UK is in and the Brexit disaster adding to the systemic shit show that was the pre-pandemic English homelessness position?

In summary, the fact that Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all are writing about the one million plus extra homeless men, women and children a day or so before it begins when the projections of it have been known about for a year, says it all as to the apathy about how England addresses homelessness.

It is all tomorrow’s fish and chip paper and the day after the public will be far more interested in whether Carrie Symonds wore something new when marrying someone old, someone borrowed and someone blue rather than worry their pretty little apathetic heads over an additional one million more homeless men, women and children.

Nobody gives a sh*t about the social tenant

The tenant living in the social rented sector must be the lowest of the low as Shelter, the Renter Reform Coalition and the Labour Party do not give a shit about them. All the more surprising given MORE social tenants than private tenants will be evicted and become homeless as a result of the pandemic, brexit and recession yet ALL we hear and read about from Shelter, the Renter Reform Coalition and the Labour Party is how many PRIVATE tenants are at risk of the arrears to eviction to homeless pathway.

In August 2020 I reported on the pandemic arrears creating evictions and cited the two projections then announced of 228,000 households evicted from the private sector from Shelter and also the District Council Network (DCN) projection of 272,000 social tenant households comprising 174,000 housing association and a further 98,000 council tenants evicted in homelessness. I drafted the crudest of charts to report these figures:

The eviction ban has been deferred and deferred but ends this week and the only thing that is certain is the numbers will have increased from the DCN projection in May 2020 and from the Shelter July 2020 projection as I strongly doubt these organisations factored in the actual length of the pandemic and second and possibly third waves which will only create more arrears to eviction to homeless cases.

As usual ahead of the eviction ban lifting from Tuesday 1st June the usual suspects are out in force in the media giving their unfortunately ignorant fourpenneth worth with ALL of them adopt the patently false narrative that tenants being evicted is a private rented matter only.

The Guardian, Observer, Times, Mirror, the BBC, Shelter and essentially Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all portray this huge issue as a private renting matter only and not one of them mentions social tenant evictions AT ALL never mind noting and reporting that the majority of tenants to be evicted will be from the social rented sector as the reports in 2020 stated.

If there are 2.3 persons per household in these at acute risk existing tenant households then the 228,000 PRS households sees 525,000 men, women and children projected to be evicted and made homeless by the proverbially nasty private landlords. Boo! Hiss!

Yet what about the 174,000 projected housing association households and the further 98,000 in council hosueholds which also have 2.3 persons per household that is projected to see the nice, cuddly beneficent social (sic) landlords putting 625,000 men, women and children on the streets? Shhhhh!!

How dare I say ‘social’ landlords will evict 100,000 more men, women and children than those nasty moneygrabbing private landlords?? That is not what I am saying, that is what the projections are saying and yet nobody is giving a flying fuck about!

The DCN which made this projection comprises the frontline staff of 187 local councils whose officers work in their homeless departments. Are these DCN homeless workers less qualified than Shelter, The Renter Reform Coalition or the Labour Party to project those at acute eviction risk?? Of course not. They are better qualified to make a projection.

In my article from August 2020 sourcing and discussing these projections I mentioned that the Labour Party’s now former shadow housing minister Thangam Debbonaire called an urgent debate over post eviction-ban homelessness and she and her colleagues in the Labour Party FAILED to mention anything at all about the same acute risk to social renting tenants!! Today in the Sunday Mirror we see the new Labour Shadow Housing Minister Lucy Powell making the very same and crassly ignorant mistake by portraying this as a private rented only matter. We also see Polly Neate the chief exexutive of Shelter, other Shelter staff, numerous members of the Renter Reform Coalition and the Observer and the rest of the usual suspects stating this purely a private rented matter nonsense all over social media.

Nobody gives a shit about the social tenant – QED!

________________________________

Some of the Renter Reform Coalition members

No DSS and No Job No Home says Housing Association

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/106012073#/

Not just “no DSS” but also No Job No Home as “working applicants only” from a ‘social’ landlord!

The reference of EL000942 suggests this is the 942nd example of Great Places HA using its private landlord company ironically called Equity Living whilst operating NO DSS.

Have a cursory look at Great Places Housing Association and their website reveals other truly asocial purpose and practise by developing every form of housing bar “social rent” the only genuinely affordable rent level

I do not need to comment on the legality of stating NO DSS in writing as this advert does or go on a “rant” as social housing ‘professionals’ often say I do when I expose their asocial nature. Pictures paint a thousand words and whether social (sic) housing ‘professionals’ like it or not, this one advert puts the entire housing association ‘movement’ into disrepute.

Housing Associations or as the Regulator of Social Housing correctly labels them as PRP that is PRIVATE Registered Providers (my emphasis) and noting council landlords are labelled as just RP or Registered Providers is something anyone interested in what we misterm as social housing needs to recognise before asserting that we need more social housing.

We do of course need far more truly social housing but we also need social landlords far more and not PRIVATE landlords such as housing associations who own and manage the majority of ‘social’ housing in England. Three in every five properties (61%) of what we misterm as ‘social’ housing are in fact private renting housing as the latest official MHCLG dwelling stock figures released last week reveal.

MHCLG – Dwelling Stock

England has just 1.58 million public sector owned social housing properties down from 2.8 million in 2001 it has almost halved in number while the number of properties owned by Private Registered Providers has increased by 1.1 million in that time.

PRPs aka housing associations by virtue of being PRIVATE organisations cannot and do not hold any public duty’s such as having to rehouse those who are homeless.

Like all other private landlords they can choose to operate NO DSS and NO JOB NO HOME and they do choose to do that yet not as openly and unlawfully by actually stating that as Great Places has done here.

Housing associations also use NO FAULT EVICTION which true public sector council landlords cannot as the following page from Shelter’s website confirms and noting Shelter correctly despise NO FAULT EVICTION and NO DSS and No JOB NO HOME which are all practised by housing associations who are private landlords yet receive no scolding from Shelter for such egregious practises …

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/eviction/eviction_of_housing_association_starter_tenants

The majority of local councils in England only have Private Registered Provider housing and do NOT have public sector owned council housing. England has a post code lottery when it comes to legally mandated housing duties and England does no longer have a housing welfare safety net that the 1948 Welfare State created.

That essential housing pillar upon which the other welfare state pillars of NHS and free education depend and need to operate efficiently has gone and due to the wolves in sheep’s clothing called housing associations who claim profusely that they are ‘social’ and imbued with social purpose and social ethos, blah, blah, blah, YET housing associations are little more than the same private rented sector landlords that the social rented sector lobbies and mouthpieces frequently despise and berate as nasty landlords who operate egregious NO DSS policies.

England has just 6% or 1 in every 17 houses as public sector and true social housing. In 1979 it was 32% and 6.568 million council houses or 1 in every 3 homes in England was council housing and true public sector rented housing. Over three-quarters of council housing England had in 1980 has transferred out of the public sector via Right To Buy or by being transferred to private sector housing associations. [NB The transfer from council to housing associations despite being a Thatcher policy from 1988 saw the overwhelming majority of this public to private sector transfer happen under Blair and Brown]

Do the maths and 1.583 million public sector council houses we have today is 5 million council houses lost since Thatcher came to power and labelled social housing as the housing of last resort. Housing associations had just 353,000 rented properties in 1979 and just 2% of all properties yet today they have almost 4 million more.

********************************************************

UPDATE – Almost 3 hours after I posted the above Great Places Housing Group issues what they presumably believe was an apology ..

It is not us it was somebody else (“We act as an agent…”)

We apologise for the language but not for the principle and continued operation of NO DSS and NO JOB NO HOME (“We will ensure that this language is not ….”

WE still hide behind the deceitful alleged social purpose – (“Our social purpose ethos means we exist to support some of the most disadvantaged people in society and this advert does not represent our mission.”)

NO NO NO!

Great Places Housing Group’s claimed social purpose is bunkum and that is proved by the original excerpt taken straight from their OWN website which says they are developing almost every other housing ‘product’ except the ONLY true social purpose which is the social rent level – and I restate their OWN WORDS …

The mission (sic) of the duplicitous Great Places Housing Group is profit and nothing more as BY THEIR OWN HAND and for which they CANNOT LAY THE BLAME ON ANYONE ELSE their ‘mission’ is feodaric and to make as much money as possible – end of! That is what developing anything other than the social rent level model means.

What planet are these PRIVATE Registered Providers on when they assert they have social pupose and social ethos? It is brazenly deceitful and the above three tweets after being found out are a joke and if this is all that this Private Registered Provider believes is necessary for their outrageous and unlawful actions (in actually stating “… no DSS considered”) then they are deluded!

It can take 40 years or more to build a good reputation and then 5 minutes to lose it and gain a bad one – and a bad one sticks around like a bad smell especially when a half-arsed apology is given as is the case here…

FURTHER UPDATE re Shelter

The chief executive of Shelter

Polly Neate, the chief executive of Shelter, an organisation that has been gung ho in its naming and shaming of landlords operating NO DSS has just liked the reply of this housing association. Shelter it seems are more than happy with the removal of the language than the actual practise of NO DSS. How revealing!! How duplicitous!!

Burnham’s homeless parable – 99.4% of planned new homes are NOT for ‘the homeless’

Just 300 of 50,000 new social rented sector homes across the 10 local authorities which make up Greater Manchester are for former rough sleepers in the charade that Andy Burnham calls a homeless prevention strategy. 49,700 of these 50,000 and 99.4% of these planned homes are not earmarked for homeless households so why is it being sold as anything to do with homelessness??

Another thing that the hyperbolic media releases failed to say is these new SRS homes are to be built by 2037. It is a 16 year strategy as the consultation document itself says:

The facts – the devil in the detail – and vague and woolly detail at that is a far cry from the propaganda in media reports such as the Manchester Evening News and Inside Housing as evidenced below

Not once in this sycophantic and deceitful Inside Housing propaganda is there a mention that this 30,000 new homes for social rent is over a 16 year period and by 2037. Not once is this 300 total properties for former rough sleepers which is just 30 properties in each of the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities over sixteen years said for what it is and ….

LESS THAN 2 NEW ROUGH SLEEPER PROPERTIES PER COUNCIL PER YEAR FOR THE NEXT 16 YEARS IS THE (ROUGH SLEEPER) HOMELESS PLAN OF ANDY BURNHAM

Pre-pandemic Burnham admitted that GMCA had over 600 known rough sleepers so half of them will be off the streets in 16 years time assuming not 1 more new rough sleeper crawls out from under the woodwork before 2037! The

Andy Burnham, Metro Mayor of the Greater Manchester Combined Authorities (GMCA) and the 10 local authorities which comprise it, is going to have to perform a greater supply and demand miracle than Jesus did with the 5 loaves and two fishes. He is truly the Messiah!

I would dearly love to see the GMCA strategic analysis that projects the rough sleeping numbers for the next 16 years until 2037 which asserts there is only a need for TWO additional yearly properties needed in each of the ten Greater Manchester council areas to see if it is an in-house or external consultant PENC (Pangloss & Emperor’s New Clothes) report. Burnham is not the Messiah. He is just a very naughty boy!

It is also interesting that Burnham as the Messiah has not got a Handel on the Greater Manchester naughty social (sic) landlords who want 40% and 20,000 of these 50,000 new SRS properties at the chronically misnamed “affordable rent” level and which exclude all prospective tenants on benefit due to the overall benefit cap and other ‘welfare (sic) reform (sic)’ policies never mind excluding those who find themselves homeless.

Put another way greedy social (sic) landlords want 20,000 affordable (sic) rent properties so they can cream off excess profit (averaging 49% more in GM) but have to provide 300 former rough sleeper properties as constraint!

This great homeless plan of Burnham in short sees at least 20,000 and 40% of all properties to be NO DSS properties over the next 16 years and a tad different to the snake oil that Burnham is attempting to sell on behalf of the grubby ultra-commercialised landlords who have the temerity to describe themselves as social!

Burnham and his GMCA communications team are selling this plan as being about homelessness – and aided and abetted by numerous bullshit merchants who are promoting it – when it is nothing of the sort. It is political bullshit that uses the offensive levels of homelessness GMCA has for political purposes even more offensively with the tell a lie often enough and people (want to) believe it strategy.

Tory Austerity never went far enough for Starmer or Reeves. Woe Betide Social Housing

Not content will being labelled Tory Lite, Keir Starmer appoints Rachel Reeves Shadow Chancellor – a woman who believes Austerity did not go far enough and who is miles to the political right of Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey.

In October 2013 Rachel Reeves was the Shadow DWP Minister in the Ed Miliband cabinet and infamously stated her extreme right-wing views on benefit scroungers and workfare.

In October 2013 her counterparts were Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey at the DWP. IDS had introduced the bedroom tax, the overall benefit cap policy, had frozen LHA and upped the age limit on the shared accommodation rate from those under 25 to those under 35, and he had also introduced Universal Credit.

This level of austerity was not right-wing enough for Rachel Reeves who thought IDS was a wet and too soft on those out of work. UC sanctions which increased more than ten-fold on the legacy system was not hard enough for Reeves who wanted workfare

By October 2013 Esther McVey as Disabilities Minister has introduced PIP to replace Disability Living Allowance a policy with a clear and unambiguous intent to take disability benefit away from half a million households receiving it, a policy that said 500,000 of its then 2.7 million recipients were not disabled but work-shy scroungers.

Page 9 of the Impact Assessment referenced above

Esther McVey was far too liberal for Rachel Reeves liking in only calling out 19% of disability benefit recipients as piss takers and benefit cheats, which is what the DLA to PIP policy did and had at its heart. Rachel Reeves would be far tougher on them than Esther McVey and Iain Duncan Smith.

By March 2015 Rachel Reeves was in full flow and infamously stated Labour was a party for those in work but not a party for those out of work …

Pensioners are not in work. Those incapacitated are not in work. Most of those who are disabled are not in work. The Labour Party is not for you says Rachel Reeves.

In October 2021 the three million forced to claim Universal Credit as a result of the pandemic will be joined by millions more unemployed as the furlough scheme ends as does the £20 per week top-up. Many of the 4.8 million furlough recipients will finally find they are unemployed and look to Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, the Labour Party but instead of support they will find Rachel Reeves and Labour stating the country cannot afford these workless millions so get off your arses as work will set you free else we will introduce workfare. You are all FORMER workers so not welcome in Starmer Labour!

Rachel Reeves as Shadow Chancellor sees Starmer Labour not as Tory Lite but as Tory Plus in terms of Austerity.

The 1948 Welfare State and all that it means is now dead with this appointment of Reeves as Shadow Chancellor. We have a workfare state as the official policy of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition not a welfare state.

Do not get sick or ill. Do not lose your job. Only (non-unionised zero hour contract) employment will set you free under Starmer Labour. Do not expect the state to provide shelter and housing or any other pillar of the 1948 Welfare State.

‘Welfare’ to Rachel Reeves is a handout not a hand-up as her own utterances reveal. She is an unconstituted New Labourite politician heavily influenced by Etzioni communitarianism and all rights – to welfare etc – having to be balanced by a contract-based responsibility that goes way beyond the ‘tough love’ of workfare that the Tories didn’t dare to introduce.

The contractual-based welfare the Tories did introduce for example in Universal Credit core terms that anyone who can work 1 hour per week must work 35 hours per week and must travel 90 minutes to and from the place of work each day and must accept the national minimum wage else get sanctioned and receive nothing in welfare do not go far enough in terms of claimant responsibility for Reeves. The contractually based nature of welfare that New Labour introduced as central to the New Labour project I could bore you to tears with as it was the subject of my undergraduate disssertation. The contractual nature of welfare rights to welfare responsibility had never been done before the New Labour project

In applied and practical terms it does not bode well for social housing and homelessness that I normally discuss as both these sectors are riven with the SODS (Sick, Old, Disabled, Supported) or DOSS in the Reeves lexicon. The social rented sector seesa majority of all households having a disability according to EHS data, it has a far higher average householder age at 54 compared with 39 for the PRS and it has sheltered and supported housing that the PRS does not. In short, the typical SRS tenant profile is the work-shy benefit scrounger in Reeves thinking and ‘the homeless’ are homeless due to their ‘lifestyle choices’ and so on.

Reeves tenure as Shadow DWP minister under Miliband (2013 to 2015) was characterised by non-opposition to Tory Austerity in case Labour was labelled the party OF welfare and which gave the Austerity ‘welfare reforms’ as much free rein as Starmer has done in not opposing Johnson.

Infamously, UKIP came out publicly against the Bedroom Tax in this time and before the Miliband Labour Party which had Reeves as its Shadow DWP Minister. This was one manifestation of Reeves positioning of Labour being tougher than the Tories on welfare and there are a great many more. Welfare and social policy as well as housing policy by focus group at the time (and now joined by pithy superficial soundbite and slogan on social media) in short and for those in social housing does anyone recall Miliband Labour coming out against the 60% cut in social housing subsidy? It didn’t though Miliband himself said Thatcher was right to introduce Right to Buy at the 2011 Labour conference speech. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury at the time and who could and should have opposed the drastic social housing cut was you guessed it Rachel Reeves.

Social, as in social housing, social purpose, social ethos, etc., has the same root as in social-ism which Reeves opposes full stop in any form. The state is not responsible, the state is not a welfare state with a safety net but is a workfare state that chides the workless, the sick, the old, the disabled and those who require any form of support or basic humanity. Those in housing need including those who are roofless and homeless have to get off their fat lazy arses and work their way out of the dire straits their own lifestyle choices has seen them arrive at is the philosophy of Rachel Reeves.

Banning no-fault eviction is a good thing?

We are told today by the Renter Reform Coalition that 700,000 private renting households have received a S21 no-fault eviction notice since the pandemic began which could affect 1.6 million men, women and children given 2.3 is the average household size.  It is an outrage.  Yet nobody it seems has bothered to ask how many housing association households and council LHC tenants have also been served the same Section 21 no-fault eviction notices! 

Renter Reform Coalition members

We know from official data that Starter Tenancies are used for more than 70% of all new housing association tenancies and they are the exact same Assured Shorthold Tenancy as used in the private rented sector and can be ended by the exact same section 21 no-fault eviction notice.  That is just as much an outrage and in my view an even greater outrage since nobody has even bothered to ask or find out how many HA renting households are evicted in this way. 

Shelter has a page on their website which deals with HA ‘starter tenancies’ and as you can see a housing association can operate no-fault eviction in the exact same way as a private landlord via a Section 21 Notice.

Yet not one of the Renter Reform Coalition members has even bothered to ask how many no-fault eviction section 21 Notices have been issued by housing associations.

Additionally almost every local authority across England owns their own private landlord company called a Local Housing Company (LHC) and all of these are restricted to the Assured Shorthold Tenancy because they are private landlords and they too issue Section 21 no-fault eviction … yet not a peep from the Renters Reform Alliance

Insert LHC definition

Social Housing Green Paper (SHGP) official definition

If a no-fault eviction is an outrage, is amoral, is offensive then it is all of these things regardless of which type of landlord uses no-fault eviction and ANY landlord that does is the proverbial bastard.

The populist clamour to ban no fault evictions is incredibly ill-considered and is the same populist nonsense that said Brexit will give £350m more per week to the NHS.  It is very much a politically-driven agenda that deals with theory which sounds so right and so populist yet does not give any consideration to practical impacts and how it can make renting an even worse reality after any such ban.

The Banning of No-Fault Eviction (NFE) is a good thing?

No policy acts in a vacuum and the banning of NFE will have far more damaging and dangerous consequences than keeping it especially in terms of homelessness.  In simple yet valid terms, making it more difficult and more time-consuming to evict means it will impose a greater cost of eviction on ALL landlords – which on the face of it I have no objection to.

However, what it undoubtedly and inevitably means is that ALL landlords will undoubtedly and inevitably become more risk averse as to whom they will accommodate in the first place.  This is hugely problematic and best explained in terms of single homelessness as in England social landlords only offer up 13,000 rehousing properties to single homeless persons each year when England has and creates at least 150,000 single homeless persons each and every year. 

England is reliant on the private landlord to rehouse 137,000 of this minimum 150,000 and over 90% of its single homeless persons each and every year.  The banning of no-fault eviction means private landlords will take flight from rehousing the single homeless cohorts it currently does as the single homeless prospective tenant become a higher risk and higher cost cohort due to the banning of NFE and there is no extra financial reward for rehousing them.

Every company in every sector assesses risk versus reward. If you are a higher risk customer then you are charged a higher cost for that provider perceived risk.  An insurance company is a simple analogy that we all know so if you want to ski or snowboard then your insurance premium is a much higher cost than somebody who wants to merely holiday abroad by soaking up the sun.  That same principle applies with NFE to prospective tenants. 

ALL single homeless and even family homeless households are more likely to be evicted again is how ALL landlords perceive risk of tenancy failure yet there is no extra they can charge the homeless household in rent to mitigate that higher risk.  There is no industry that will take a higher risk for no higher reward yet that is what the banning of no-fault eviction means for the landlord in the housing industry.

Return to the facts above and do some simple arithmetic and the NFE banning and how it will affect single homelessness is horrific.  To keep the numbers simple let’s say private landlords rehouse 130,000 single homeless per year and social landlords rehouse 13,000 per year.

IF PRS landlords take just 10% flight from this tenant market they rehouse 13,000 fewer single homeless persons per year which means SRS landlords will have to increase the number they rehouse by 13,000 for a 100% increase by rehousing 26,000 in total – the usual 13,000 plus the 13,000 the PRS will no longer rehouse.

If PRS landlords take 20% flight from rehousing single homeless persons then social landlords will need to TREBLE the number they rehouse (from 13,000 to 39,000) and if PRS landlords take 30% flight from rehousing single homeless persons then social landlords will need to QUADRUPLE the number they rehouse from 13,000 to 52,000 per year.

BECAUSE social landlords do not have the capacity to even double the number of single homeless households they currently rehouse it means single people in homeless hostels and domestic abuse refuges have to stay there longer which means more rough sleepers not able to get into hostels and many more domestic abuse victims not able to get into refuge.

The homeless and domestic abuse implications from banning no-fault evictions by private landlords, housing associations and council-owned local housing companies is horrific and the NFE ban does not just adversely impact here but on a much wider scale. 

EVERY landlord will become far more risk averse and far more circumspect for mainstream general needs tenants.  The risk factors of it being harder, lengthier and more costly to evict means every prospective renter will be subject to far greater scrutiny when it comes to all allocation of every rented property.  Those perceived increased risks were known before the pandemic and are much more increased due to the pandemic.  Three million more on Universal Credit and massively reduced job security for millions is what the pandemic has seen. 

For example, a prospective tenant working full time in the hospitality industry or retail was a lowish risk of arrears before the pandemic yet now and in the future has become a higher perceived risk of arrears to landlords.  Look a bit closer and all the high rent areas where housing benefit comes nowhere near the rent charged and all prospective tenants in low-paying employment become a higher risk to arrears as their low paying jobs are significantly more precarious as a result of the pandemic. 

If many office workers retaining employment begin to start working from home 2 days per week as a pandemic consequence then they purchase 40% less from a coffee shop, a sandwich shop as they are not at the office workplace and thus all those coffee and sandwich shop businesses have a much greater employee precarity for their low-paid workforce and more likely to fold … which means even full-time but low paid employed renters are a greater risk to the arrears to eviction to homeless pathway and (correctly) perceived that way by landlords.

I could go on but anyone who thinks that landlords, private and social, do and will not factor in all of the pandemic impacts on prospective tenant risk they are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land and so allocation scrutiny for ALL renters by ALL landlords will increase anyway and further increase significantly IF a no-fault eviction ban becomes statute.  No policy change acts in a vacuum and no policy change should be proposed without a full consideration of what changes landlords will make when section 21 ‘no-fault’ eviction is banned.

In short, banning no-fault eviction was always a very dangerous proposal that has become dangerous with the pandemic and its consequences.  To be precise it was always a superficial and moralistic proposal that was ill thought-through and it still is ill thought-through by the Renter Reform Coalition. 

In isolation banning no-fault eviction is similar to the banning of alcohol or Prohibition in the USA a century ago.  It is as superficial as it gets and no thought has gone into what it means or how ‘bad’ tenants are evicted.  Yes, all eviction is abhorrent and it should only be affected with clear fault in a transparent and lawful process – a renter rents their home not just a set of bricks and mortar and having their home taken away from them is repugnant.  Eviction is, however, a necessary evil and a landlord right too. 

Two years ago the Theresa May government announced it was proposing to ban no fault eviction. It took most by surprise yet in the two years since there has never been anything more than this phrase. There has been no concrete proposal, no wording on how it is to be banned, no wording on what will replace the expected section 21 ban – and absolutely no discussion on what the impacts of banning no-fault evition will be or mean. Like any rational humane person I support the removal of the no fault eviction and I know that no fault eviction is truly abhorrent.

Yet I also know that just removing the section 21 notice will undoubtedly lead to far greater rough sleeper numbers and far greater single and family homelessness and far greater domestic abuse and will make it far harder for anyone to rent from a social or private landlord.

Be careful what you wish for