Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
About A week ago 99
The Guardian article, click here, “Councils ‘ripped off’ by private landlords, experts warn” accuses private landlords of ‘ripping off” desperate councils trying to house the homeless. They say local authorities are now spending almost £1bn on temporary accomodation with some councils spending £200 per head of population on sheltering homeless households.
These are staggering figures, but surely the responsibility lies more directly with government past and present than with private landlords.
Joint analysis was produced by the Guardian with Shelter showing councils in England spent £997 million in 2017/18 up from £584m in 2012/13 a 71% increase on temporary accomodation. 82,310 families were in temporary accomodation in June 2018 up from 55,840 in 2013, an increase of 47%.
Therefore demand has increased at least 47%, supply of social housing is falling behind and with over 5 years of inflation the economics would suggest a 71% increase in budget shows almost no ‘ripping off’! What on earth are they basing this assertion on?
Councillor Darren Rodwell, the London Councils executive member for housing and planning, said: “These figures show how local authorities and taxpayers are being ripped off by failings in the national approach to this issue.
“The government needs to take action. It’s clear we can’t keep relying on increasingly expensive private-sector accommodation, so more must be done to boost provision of social housing.”
Greg Beales, the campaign director of Shelter, said: “Long queues of homeless families turning to councils for help with temporary accommodation are just some of the unwanted consequences of welfare cuts, rising rents and a failure to build social homes.”
Heather Wheeler, Minister for housing and homelessness, said: “Having somewhere to stay and a place to call home is vital in helping those who are homeless rebuild their lives, and we are determined to make this a reality.
“Temporary accommodation acts as an important safety net ensuring that the most vulnerable have a roof over their heads until longer term housing can be found. We’re providing more than £1.2bn to tackle all forms of homelessness, including funding for programmes such as the Private Rented Sector Access Fund, which will support more homeless families into long term private rented accommodation.”
The comments above seem to themselves contradict the inflamitory headline of the article, placing the blame more on policy than actual private landlords.
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