Homelessness – a Perfect Storm

by Readers Question

12:01 PM, 8th July 2019
About 5 months ago

Homelessness – a Perfect Storm

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Homelessness – a Perfect Storm

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.

No DSS:

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.

Possession Friend



Comments

Arnie Newington

8:40 AM, 9th July 2019
About 5 months ago

Social tenants in the private rental sector doesn’t work.

The political risk is huge I have heard some politicians talking about the rent payment as a subsidy to landlords.

Mick Roberts

10:11 AM, 9th July 2019
About 5 months ago

Interesting reading.
If only the Generation rent lot would listen to the other side

AJR

16:09 PM, 10th July 2019
About 5 months ago

This is a well written piece making all the right and irrefutable points. There is indeed a perfect storm brewing and it is to our politicians eternal shame that such great suffering will be most felt by our most vulnerable citizens.
Perhaps it’s only a storm of such a devastating scale that will eventually lead to some clear headed, pragmatic and practical changes to the mess that is current housing policy. A long time in the telling I fear.

Jonathan Clarke

4:26 AM, 14th July 2019
About 5 months ago

Historically my DSS single mums and babies came to me from their parents overcrowded council house and started off in my studios as a tester for them . Then as the relationship was established between us and if they conducted the tenancy well I was happy to move them to a one bed or two bed .Then more babies came along and another upgrade etc . It worked. Then LHA rates got frozen and the barbaric and useless UC system was invented. So the system did all it could to discourage me from taking DSS. But they set up homeless units to encourage me to take DSS . They said lets play cricket together but lets make it more fun and play without a bat or ball on a waterlogged pitch . Well that`s no fun I said and my prospective DSS tenant list just got longer and longer . Now everything is clogged up. New DSS who ring me up in expectation dont get a look in and my existing DSS are climbing the walls wanting to get out of their one beds with their two kids . They kindly say they want to stay with me as I`m a good landlord but I am forced to say sorry I havent got anything for you . They go off and start to search elsewhere and then in about 2 months they come back and ask me again when they realise everywhere else has shut up shop as well . So the perfect storm is here already as the toxic atmosphere rages within 4 walls where everyone shouts at each other and you get a storm every day .
Society sees it when it spills onto the street but even then we come to accept this storm . Tent cities have sprung up on underpasses but we are now used to this eyesore so its impact is minimised as we just walk around the problem to get to the shops . I remember it used to be a talking point at the dinner table. Guess what i saw today - a person living on the street . Wow tell me about it ...Now it doesn't get a mention as it is so commonplace . So society will allow it to get worse and worse as it becomes ingrained as part of or culture . The storm is here but we still got hurricane and tornadoes to come. There are no storm defences that I can see being constructed on the horizon
I used to love my DSS game of cricket but I cant play now because the government has taken away my bat and keeps hitting me with it.

Mick Roberts

15:44 PM, 14th July 2019
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Clarke at 14/07/2019 - 04:26
That's exactly it here too Jonathon.

New DSS can't get anywhere. Main Nottingham Homeless Hostel (A side arm of the council), al the staff there ringing Landlords for 5 hours a day EACH, & no Landlords taking their tenants who primarily are gonna' be on DSS DWP, for Selective Licensing & UC reasons & do they think this is gonna' get better with the impending doom of Section 21 ban?

And my existing DWP can't move on either, as all-what was not many of 'em to start with-DWP Landlords (myself included) can no longer take DWP.


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