National Audit Office – Homelessness report

by Property 118

7 days ago

National Audit Office – Homelessness report

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National Audit Office – Homelessness report

The National Audit Office has released its homelessness report with all indices rising isn’t it time the government works with landlords rather than using them as a political expediency.

Click Here to see full report.

60% increase in households in temporary accommodation since March 2011 with 77,240 households in temporary accommodation @ March 2017

£1.15 billion – the cost of homelessness to Local Authorities in 2015-2016

88,410 households applied for homelessness assistance during 2016-2017

Threefold increase In the number of households recorded as homeless following the end of an assured shorthold tenancy since 2010-11. Surely this is one of the most telling statistics and shows the results of financial and political attacks post Section 24 mortgage interest restrictions with PRS landlords looking to exit the housing Market.

Click Here  to read Dr Rosalind Beck’s comprehensive report on Section 24 of the Finance (No. 2) Act 2015

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, attacks the government on its record saying: “Homelessness in all its forms has significantly increased in recent years, driven by several factors. Despite this, government has not evaluated the impact of its reforms on this issue, and there remain gaps in its approach. It is difficult to understand why the Department persisted with its light touch approach in the face of such a visibly growing problem. Its recent performance in reducing homelessness therefore cannot be considered value for money”.

The report summary indicated:

“The ending of private sector tenancies has overtaken all other causes to become the biggest single driver of statutory homelessness in England. The proportion of households accepted as homeless by local authorities due to the end of an assured shorthold tenancy increased from 11% during 2009-10 to 32% during 2016-17. The proportion in London increased during the same period from 10% to 39%. Across England, the ending of private sector tenancies accounts for 74% of the growth in households who qualify for temporary accommodation since 2009-10. In addition, it appears likely that the decrease in affordability of properties in the private rented sector, of which welfare reforms such as the capping of Local Housing Allowance are an element, have driven this increase in homelessness.”

“The ability of local authorities to respond to increased homelessness is constrained by the limited options they have to house homeless families. There has been a significant reduction in social housing over the past few decades.”

Surely the government needs the PRS now more than ever?

Comments

Every Landlord needs to copy this report to their local MP and ask when they are going to act to protect the people who are going to made homeless due to Sec.24 over the next 3 years, as the effects of Sec.24 start to fully kick-in.

A useful report, but usual stupid assertion that the end of a private tenancy is the 'cause' of a person's homelessness. It's like saying 'losing a home caused the homelessness.' It's just a way of getting a dig in at the private sector, whilst hiding the real causes. And if for argument's sake, for every 1,000 end of private tenancies there were 900 end of social tenancies and 700 loss of owner-occupied housing because of defaulting on the mortgage, why constantly highlight the end of the private tenancy only?

Furthermore, the causes are related to issues like Section 24 driving rents up and landlords out of the sector, which limits supply. This impacts most on those at the bottom financially, as landlords can no longer afford to offer cheap rents as we used to - we now have to chase the last pound to pay the lunatic tax.

Other causes are tenants' own behaviour - some tenants trash houses and don't pay the rent even when they are in receipt of state funds to pay it; others choose to spend their salaries on other things - like drink, drugs, takeaways they can't afford, mobiles they can't afford and so on. These are 'causes'. The most anti-social tenants are going to see their options closing down as landlords are ever more careful not to get landed with one of these - despite pleas from local authorities to take them on. Landlords won't be able to take the risks they did in the past.

Having said all that, at least the homelessness figures are starting to be revealed. Yes, the cuts in benefits are a factor also, but they are not the only form of government interference which is causing homelessness.

On today's BBC webpage: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-41254714
Their attention is focused on 3% stamp duty, but Section 24 is barely mentioned - looks as not important in the mix.
No space for comments, though.

Rodney Oliver

6 days ago

I wrote to the Audit Office just yesterday basically saying that due to government changes a few years ago "Housing benefit no longer paid direct to l/L and is now paid to tenant = tenant not paying it on = homelessness and this is one of the main reasons for the increase in homelessness. I've said it before, I always send very candid messages (not rude) to the appropriate government ministers and straight to the point. I'm sure I'm becoming a thorn in their side and if we all do it and become thorns they'll soon get fed up and may do something so it'd worth a try!

Reply to the comment left by Rod at 14/09/2017 - 13:07
Yes, the report implied that landlords are increasing rents just for the hell of it and that this is the main cause of homelessness. The report had a lot of weaknesses in it.

Rodney Oliver

4 days ago

Time for some strait talk! To those who live on other planets who think L/Ls are worth millions are going to be very disappointed. I rent out at £85 per week but after mortgage, expenses, tax etc I'm left with around £40 PER WEEK, hardly a millionaires wage!!! Many, inc' MPs, need to get real as many L/Ls will pull out. Sorry to disappoint tenants but I've had bad ones and "enough is enough". Eviction should be made easier, yes you may think it'll increase homelessness BUT it would increase L/Ls numbers if evicting is easy and so bring homeless numbers down again. Bad tenants have caused most homelessnes, they need to "get over it - live with it - end of ! OR Behave !!!

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