To think some social housing rents should be tripled?

(259 Posts)
LondonMan Fri 16-Aug-13 13:49:43

First of all, please read the post carefully, this is not meant to be a benefits-bashing thread. It's meant to be a thread in favour of "economic correctness."

I want all rents to be set at the market rate, which apparently might mean tripling them in parts of London. I was watching the "How to get a council house" series, and in the program in which Tower Hamlets was featured, the rents seemed to be about a third of the market rate. (I have also watch the Manchester program, so realise there is less of a discrepancy elsewhere.)

I think it is wrong to price anything at other than a market rate, as it results in misallocation of resources.

I presume realistic rents would make no difference to those most dependent on benefits, it would just increase the amount of housing benefit they received. Obviously some other people would be affected. For example some working people who pay social rents with no help from benefits might decide that if their council house no longer had a subsidy, they might prefer private housing, freeing up their council house for someone else.

I know from previous threads that lots of people on here have a confused idea about what subsidy means. It simply means getting something for less than it would cost in a free market. If the owner could rent out a property for £300 a week to the highest bidder, but do in fact rent it for £100 a week to a social tenant, then the social tenant is being subsidised by £200 a week the owner is forgoing.

Essentially the point of "social housing" should be to provide secure tenancies, since the market currently doesn't do this. (Though possibly there should also be changes so that the market does.) It should not be to provide "cheaper" housing, since there is no such thing. Housing is worth what it's worth: when people talk about "affordable rent" or "low-cost" housing the correct economic view of what they mean is almost always housing with a hidden subsidy. I'm not against explicit subsidy, via higher housing benefit for example, but I am against the hidden subsidy in below-market rents.

(Before I saw these programs I was under the impression that central government had already introduced a rule that social rents had to be raised to realistic levels, so I was surprised by the size of the discrepancy in Tower Hamlets. Are Tower Hamlets just being slow in complying, or am I wrong to think there is such a rule?)

Icedink Fri 16-Aug-13 13:54:46

I think all rent should be lower, it doesn't seem right at all to me that working people need to claim housing benefit which private landlords profit from.

I disagree that 'housing is what it's worth' because I disagree that a free market should be god.

Instead I take the opposite stance to you - there should be a massive social house building programme so that rents/ ownership costs come DOWN.

I do not think we should line the pockets of banks/landlords further and prop up an insane property market which does not service us as an economy.

The totally free market in property just makes a select few richer.

Fuck that, the inequality is bad enough.

Build more houses - only 6% of Britain is built on.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 13:56:49

Private rents need to be lower.

Ilovemyself Fri 16-Aug-13 13:58:42

If social housing is paid at a lower rate then the housing benefit bill will be reduced.

And the rental market is just stupidly priced at the moment. I pay over 50% of my wages on rent. So why shouldn't we look at reducing the cost of renting a house rather then increasing it for people who probably can't afford it at all.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 13:59:45

And I don't understand how if your plan happened, people who couldn't afford their SH rents could move to private rents.

Which would be just as expensive

MousyMouse Fri 16-Aug-13 14:00:38

renting should be better regulated both for tennants and landlords.
housing assiciations should rent also to private tennants making estates better socially mixed.

specialsubject Fri 16-Aug-13 14:02:22

making money by renting property is seen as a crime by many here. Regardless of whether the property was funded by (shock horror) WORKING AND SAVING.

landlords have mortgages and bills to pay. Tenants should not rent properties that they consider too expensive. You move to a cheaper area, same as those that buy houses do if they can't afford where they are.

yes, I know it is not that simple, but that's supply and demand for you.

BushCricket Fri 16-Aug-13 14:02:50

Could you explain what you mean by this:
"I think it is wrong to price anything at other than a market rate, as it results in misallocation of resources."?

Minifingers Fri 16-Aug-13 14:03:20

So the council should give people loads more housing benefit to pay for higher rents in social housing.

Housing benefit which they'd be giving back to themselves in rent.

That's efficient, OP.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 16-Aug-13 14:03:30

I agree with you if you're talking about London.

I don't think it's right that some people get such cheap rent in areas that the majority of people couldn't afford to live in. It's just plain unfair.

I don't agree with the argument that we need to subsidise housing for low paid or minimum wage jobs, because those jobs could be done by young or single people who either live with their parents or house share or rent rooms. There is a surplus of unskilled workers at the moment, that's why unemployment is high. Society does not need people who have children to support to do low paid work, therefore I see no need for housing in expensive areas to only be available to the very rich or very poor.

maja00 Fri 16-Aug-13 14:05:52

Why would it ever be a good idea to increase the housing benefit bill? Don't you know we're in a financial crisis.

Social housing rents should be set at what it costs to maintain the buildings, pay staff etc. Most council housing has paid for itself many times over now and is running a surplus. Don't see the logic in artificially increasing rents at all.

Debs75 Fri 16-Aug-13 14:07:16

Oh FFS get out of your Ivory Tower and see that 'market rates' just doesn't comply with NMW or even a liveable wage.

I have lived in council properties all my life and have seen them raise in them years just not at the stupid rates that private rents and house prices have. Our first 3 bedroom house was £35 per week, on a rough estate but a decent house. This was 16 years ago and the rents have doubled to over £75-£90 per week. In that time though private rents in our area have tripled and in case quadrupled way out of many peoples reach.

By getting people to pay market rents when they are on housing benefit will cost them as the Local Housing Allowance is set at the 30% mark of all the local rents. When we were recently looking for a 4 bed house there were hundreds that were way out of our reach. On a NMW we could barely afford the £100 per week our house is if it was £300 we would not be able to eat.

We need lots more affordable housing built and lower rents all round

ClaraOswald Fri 16-Aug-13 14:07:42

Market rate is too high.

Private landlords have become greedy in a lot of cases, and there are quite a few who are negligent in maintaining their properties. It's all about profit for them.

Social housing was sold off in droves in the Eighties, and no more was built, hence the huge crisis there is now. Had the social housing been retained, house prices wouldn't have shot up as fast as they did with people buying ex-council properties and renting them out/selling them on for vast profit.

Debs75 Fri 16-Aug-13 14:11:15

Broken but some people with families to support can only get a low paid menial job because a) they don't have the qualifications or b) they only have that skillset. For them to excel at both often means training and further education which they can ill afford

Minifingers Fri 16-Aug-13 14:12:02

"I don't agree with the argument that we need to subsidise housing for low paid or minimum wage jobs, because those jobs could be done by young or single people who either live with their parents or house share or rent rooms."

But they can't live with their parents if their parents don't have a spare room. Which many older people don't as they themselves are in social housing.

Young middle-class people living with parents who can accommodate them and support them at home don't generally want to do jobs like working as care assistants, TA's and nursery nurses, jobs that are actually quite skilled but which are very very badly paid. At least they may want to do a few months in these jobs between school and university but would not do in the medium to long term.

Ilovemyself Fri 16-Aug-13 14:12:19

Perhaps the nimbys complaining about house building at the moment should be happy for housing to be built to bring the cost of renting down.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 14:13:24

I'm actually amazed that brokensungasses thinks that people with families to support shouldn't do minimum wage jobs.

Maybe more employers should pay a bloody living wage then.

KhloeKardashian Fri 16-Aug-13 14:14:09

I think they should leave things as they are for the current clients. Anyone new should be charged the going rate.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 14:15:16

They care charged the going rate.just not the over inflated private rent rate.

usualsuspect Fri 16-Aug-13 14:15:33

Are*

BrokenSunglasses Fri 16-Aug-13 14:15:58

Training and qualifications should be gained before having children to support though. And if that doesn't happen, as it didn't for me, then we shouldn't expect to be able to live in the most expensive parts of the country.

lougle Fri 16-Aug-13 14:16:01

Understanding the rent- restructuring formula for housing

Rent setting for social housing tenancies

These documents set out the rent structure for Council/HA housing.

The issue is not about Social Housing rents, it's about rents on the 'free market', where landlords adjust their rental rates to match the ceiling rate of housing benefit available.

Viviennemary Fri 16-Aug-13 14:16:55

I don't know what the answer is but it certainly isn't to triple rents. I'd like to see people not being entitled to carry on in their council house if they can afford to buy their own house. I read that Peaches Gedolf and her millionaire boyfriend rent a HA house. Is this right. Not IMO.

lougle Fri 16-Aug-13 14:17:04

" BrokenSunglasses Fri 16-Aug-13 14:15:58

Training and qualifications should be gained before having children to support though. And if that doesn't happen, as it didn't for me, then we shouldn't expect to be able to live in the most expensive parts of the country."

So just who is going to clean the toilets in the restaurants, sweep the roads and care for the children of parents who go out to work? Low paid work is low paid work, wherever you live.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now