12:01 PM, 8th July 2019, About 2 years ago 5
This is a summary of a revealing article written by Joe Speye which you can view if you click here.
He makes some ‘revelations’ about: Homelessness, Social Housing, ‘No-fault’ Evictions by PRS, N.H.F & Shelter and their ‘No DSS campaign’ and well, basically, a ‘Perfect Storm’
Joe’s report refers to the above interventions as “superficial, often based on error, delusion or hope, rather than reality and if implemented as national policy, would have massively different consequences from one housing area to the next.” (This all makes sense and I can hear Landlords warming to him already, but wait for the rest)
On ending Homelessness:
He points out the aim is next to impossible if not laudable. Each year there are 140,000 ‘Single’ Homeless persons in England (Hostel dwellers, rough sleepers, single women in refuges etc of working age). Local Authorities and Housing Associations house just 13,000 of them. The problem is the social housing sector has never, and still isn’t, building one-bed single accommodation units for the working age.
10 in every 11 Single households are housed in the PRS. Factors that account for this single person Homelessness are many and can’t [easily or realistically] be significantly eradicated. i.e Relationship breakdowns, loss of employment, evicted for rent arrears, teenage children falling out with new step-parents, domestic violence and ‘101 more reasons’
‘No-fault’ Section 21 evictions ban:
He agrees, as do all Landlords, that this will cause ‘even more homelessness’ as the PRS landlords will perceive the single homeless as a high risk group and will take flight as they can no longer evict this high risk group.’
Yes, that’s 10 out of 11 Homeless persons excluded from PRS Housing, because of Tenant group campaigns to Government.
If All PRS Landlords were to react the above way (many will but some won’t) you can easily see a potential for Homelessness to multiply by 10 x times ! There’s nowhere near enough L.A Emergency accommodation [now] or even Shelter shop doorways to cope with this kind of scale.
Social Housing habitually practice this under a laughable euphemism of excluding those applying who have “limited entitlement to welfare assistance.”
In other words, Landlords and Letting Agents have been honest and up front with tenants whilst Social housing have been ‘dressing it up’. The result will be that PRS will also now be considering tenancies on ‘affordability criteria.’ So governments freeze on Housing benefit, then rounding on the PRS for not accepting them, isn’t going to work. Its just more ‘window-dressing’ for tenants, such as the Tenant Fee ban that claims to help them in one way, but harms them more in other ways. (rent increases)
NHF & Shelter:
Joe points out how perverse it was of Shelter to team up with the National Housing Federation to launch the ‘End No DSS ‘ campaign when Housing Associations are routinely practicing this under their euphemism for several years!
Organisational morals, you may question, but it gets worse.
Last year Social Landlords successfully lobbied the government to restore inflation busting rent increases from April 2020. This will have the effect of all families with one child being refused Council and Social housing by 2025 ( because their limited entitlement to welfare assistance won’t cover Social Housing, as it doesn’t in the PRS ). Hang on, wasn’t it the Mayor of London that was talking of rent controls, I hear you recall!
For all Landlords who thought that Housing policy wasn’t fully thought through and was having detrimental effects on our customers (Tenants) you were right, but had perhaps underestimated the severity of the ‘Perfect Storm’
Meanwhile, Tenant groups aren’t acting for those in most need’s interests. So why are they doing it – I’ve asked the same question.
Its ironic [some might say, moronic] that those doing the most for tenants, the majority of Landlords, are being attacked by some doing the least to help them.
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