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 Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 9:49 am
 
 
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 Post Subject: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

Hello all,

Was chatting with someone today re pros and cons of above and thought I'd ask you 'orrible lot your opinion.

I suggested that renting from a local authority offers a little more protection and rights, not to mention slightly more affordable rents for the mean time. My friend said that HAs are just as good but really didn't know what the future held re rents being adjusted more in line with private rents in the future.

If any of you rent, what do you reckon? We were talking about it because he has been offered a "swap" to a housing association property, and currently he has a secure tenancy with a council.

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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 9:53 am
 
 
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

Further to above, I was telling him about proposed (may already have been implemented) changes to housing allowance, re he is below 35 and will therefore only be entitled to the equivalent rent for renting a room in a shared house in the future if he finds he needs to claim. As I understand this, it currently only effects tenants who are renting from private landlords, but I can see in my crystal balls that this will doubtless be rolled out to housing association tenants eventually, and maybe even council tenants.

Anyone know anything more?

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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 4:51 pm
 
 
thoreau
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

The housing benefit changes are indeed being rolled out to housing associations - next year as far as I know which is causing us untold problems at work updating handbooks etc.

The main benefit of council tenancies used to be the ability to buy them and in having a secure tenancy - whereas housing association properties tend to be on an assured shorthold basis - or worse with introductory tenancies for a year followed by an assured shorthold tenancy -but emphasis on the used - it is much of a muchness now.

Either way those who are under 35 and currently in one bed housing association flats are going to find their hb reduced to the single room occupancy level and struggle. The cpag court challenge failed and I havent heard of any others trying.
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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 5:00 pm
 
 
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

thoreau wrote:
The housing benefit changes are indeed being rolled out to housing associations - next year as far as I know which is causing us untold problems at work updating handbooks etc.

The main benefit of council tenancies used to be the ability to buy them and in having a secure tenancy - whereas housing association properties tend to be on an assured shorthold basis - or worse with introductory tenancies for a year followed by an assured shorthold tenancy -but emphasis on the used - it is much of a muchness now.

Either way those who are under 35 and currently in one bed housing association flats are going to find their hb reduced to the single room occupancy level and struggle. The cpag court challenge failed and I havent heard of any others trying.

Wow!

Thanks thoreau. I was trying to warn people about this months ago but nobody seemed to pay much attention. What on earth have we allowed to happen?

Will deffo let him know as there really is no point in going ahead unless he has some guaranteed perm work coming up any time soon from the sounds of it, and who has that these days?

Interesting thing about this whole debarcle is that I attended a housing office with my younger brother earlier last year. I sat in on the interview and the adviser told him that the government was eager for people of his age to have one bedroom properties now, as appose to bedsits like when I went through the whole thing.

One might almost believe "they" planned this whole thing from the start. How many people is this going to royally screw over?

Do you know what kind of action will be taken against those who can't pay the shortfall due to redundancies etc?

This is really huge and I can't believe people haven't made more of a fuss about this.

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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 5:20 pm
 
 
thoreau
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

I am not sure that it has been publicly announced about all the changes expected in 2013 - I can't find a timetable online for them though I have a hardcopy in the office that I will scan next time I am in there.

This is also going to have huge repercussions for large families as the weekly rent limit is £400 (I think) and limited to 4 bedrooms - which for those with large families or those living in london or the south east will be almost impossible.

People are expected to make up the shortfall themselves - which means those on benefits are fecked and those who work will likely receive no help whatsever. Shelter are advising folk to appeal to their landlords to reduce the rent or to apply for a discretionary housing payment.

The other group really hit by this are those who are disabled and need an extra bedroom because of it - for example for overnight carers to stay or because they need separate rooms for children who would otherwise share due to medical equipment etc.

It truly does stink - just this week we were trying to save a couple from losing their home - the husband is wheelchair bound and the wife is recovering from cancer - and working part time as that is all she can manage - he however has been turned down for esa due to being 2 points short on the questionnaire and turned down for jsa as he isnt fit enough for work. Housing benefit will not cover the extra room in the house (they often sleep separately due to the illnesses and so as not to disturb eachother) and it stopped when his benefits did, getting them into rent arrears. Fingers crossed we can get him the benefits he needs and stop the possession...
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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 5:31 pm
 
 
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

Well, good on for doing what you do. I'm glad I'm not involved in it any more as I don't think I could face that kind of crap every day.

It must be like watching a car crash in slow motion sometimes, particularly if you know what's just around the corner.

I am so never coming back to this shit-hole again.

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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 6:31 pm
 
 
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

This is quite interesting, particularly this bit:

Quote :
Housing Benefit awards will be reduced to 90% of the initial award after
12 months for claimants receiving Jobseeker's Allowance. This will be
introduced in April 2013.

http://www.easylawyers.co.uk/local-housing-benefit-allowance-rates.php

So, if I'm understanding this correctly, if you are unfortunate enough to not be able to find work that pays enough to meet your rent, you will actually be penalised after 12 months continous claiming of JSA to the point where you will ultimately end up homeless? Makes perfect sense to me...


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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 6:43 pm
 
 
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

Quote :
April 2013
Housing Benefit (HB) and Local Housing Allowance (LHA) changes




  • LHA rates uprated in line with CPI (Consumer Prices Index) rather than the higher retail price index (RPI) (private sector)

  • Limiting Housing Benefit for working age tenants so that it only
    covers the size of property they are judged to need (social rented
    sector). Such size restrictions already apply to private tenants. This
    can be a problem for older people on their own. Particularly if there’s
    no alternative housing

  • The plan to reduce HB and LHA after 12 months on JSA was withdrawn.

These rules were announced in May 2010 by the Coalition Government. More details on our 'big benefit issues' page

Further to previous, just found this here: http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/benefits-and-council-tax/welfare-rights-and-money-advice/benefit-changes-2013

Anyone know if it's actually still going ahead?

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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 6:46 pm
 
 
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

Quote :
Housing Benefit


Budget 2010 announced a package of reforms to Housing Benefit, including:

  • changing the way Local Housing Allowances are worked out from October 2011
  • uprating Local Housing Allowances from 2013-14 using the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • setting a maximum Local Housing Allowance amount for each property size
  • from October 2010 Support for Mortgage Interest payments will
    use an interest rate equal to the Bank of England’s published monthly
    Average Mortgage Rate
  • maximum limits on Housing Benefit (from £250 a week for a one-bedroom property to £400 a week for a four-bedroom or larger)
  • from April 2013, the size of houses for working age people in the social sector will reflect family size
  • reversing the freeze since 2001-02 in deductions for
    non-dependents – these will be uprated in April 2011 based on the
    Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • from April 2013 reducing Housing Benefit to 90 per cent after 12 months of getting Jobseekers Allowance
  • increasing the budget for hardship cases (Discretionary Housing Payments) by £40 million
  • covering the cost of an extra room for disabled claimants who need a carer

Still listed at Directgov.

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 Sun 01 Apr 2012, 7:02 pm
 
 
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmworpen/845/845.pdf

Quote :
[Paragraph 227] We note that the Government plans to cut Housing Benefit by 10% for those who have been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) for 12 months. We recognise that Housing Benefit has an important role to play in the decision to take a job and that the reduction by 10% after a year of job search will increase the net gain to a job seeker, from this lower base, when they eventually find work. Taken together with our proposal to "run on" Housing Benefit, this may provide an improved incentive to work.

[Paragraph 228] A number of concerns have been expressed to us about other possible implications of the proposal to reduce Housing Benefit after 12 months on JSA:
 It risks adding further complexity to the benefits system and thereby detracting from the Government's plans to simplify working-age benefits, by moving to a Universal Credit.
 It is not clear how it fits with the Government's new welfare to work programme. Support from the Work Programme will only be available to many people once they have been claiming JSA for a year. They may therefore lose 10% of their HousingBenefit for being out of work before they have received the additional support they need to find a job which the Work Programme is intended to provide.
 The number of people potentially affected by the 10% Housing Benefit reduction will be larger and more varied than the current Jobseeker's Allowance client group, and will include more vulnerable people. This arises from two changes: the migration of a number of current Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance claimants to JSA; and moving lone parents from Income Support to JSA when their youngest child reaches the age of 5, with the accompanying requirement to seek work.
 It does not take account of the variations in availability of employment across different regions of the country, nor of a claimant's particular suitability for the work available or of the greater barriers to work faced by some people, including disabled people, older people and lone parents.

[Paragraph 229] We request that the Government provides us withinformation on how it plans to address these concerns, in its response to this Report. We would also be interested to hear about alternative measures it would be prepared to consider, which might offer a more nuanced approach, using targeted sanctions for those who refuse to engage in the process of finding employment, rather than a blanket approach for all JSA claimants. The Government welcomes the Committee’s acknowledgement that the availability of Housing Benefit can play an important part in a person’s decision to take a job. Housing Benefit ensures people can continue to receive help with housing costs when they move into low paid work, on the same basis as when they are out of work. Although everyone should be financially better off in work, there is a significant body of research pointing to the fact that changes in benefit levels can affect incentives to find and take-up work. While results between studies vary, there is a general consensus that highlevels of benefit payable to those out of work can mean that the financial incentive to work is reduced. This can be detrimental to employment levels.

Announced as part of the June 2010 Budget, the proposal to reduce Housing Benefit entitlement by 10% for jobseekers after 12 months was intended to provide an additional incentive to take up employment. The Government received many representations on this proposal, including those made by
the Committee in their report, focusing on the potential implications for people actively seeking work. Concerns related, for example, to people who are now claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance after many years claiming incapacity benefits and to lone parents transferring from Income Support as their youngest child reaches age seven, reducing to five from early 2012, subject to the passage of the Welfare Reform Bill.

Subsequent to the Budget decision, the Government has agreed to introduce the Universal Credit which will mean that people will always be better off in work, which is a compelling reason to move into work or to increase hours worked. Taken with the new Work Programme, there will be both the incentive and enough support to help people back into sustainable employment. The Government has therefore decided not to introduce this particular change to Housing Benefit.

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 Mon 02 Apr 2012, 9:33 am
 
 
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 Post Subject: Re: Renting - local authority vs housing assc.

He is basically looking for a good reason to decline the swap now, as he doesn't want to appear like he's a time waster and everything.

I will suggest the single-occupancy reason for now, although he informs me that the person he was to swap with actually also has a secure tenancy, through the HA. Not sure how he'd verify this til the last minute though, and even then, he will be effected next year by the single-occupancy rate if he finds himself without work again.

I think that just about covers everything! Thank you again Thoreau for all your help - it was invaluable. You should start your own website, or summat.

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