Bedroom Tax: A Letter Everyone Should Read

(140 Posts)
SameDifference Sun 10-Feb-13 02:32:49
SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Wed 13-Feb-13 23:46:49

Also the knock-on effect on police and social services when people are forced to live in such overcrowded conditions.

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 13-Feb-13 23:48:50

One point that people often miss- social housing is non means tested! So while there are undoubtably many who can not afford the tax, equally there are many who can! They can afford the increase in rent, as it will apply to everyone in social housing, not just those on hb. I have a colleague in her fifties with only her and her husband in three bedroom flat, joint income more than 50k, absolutely she should pay more than she currently does.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Wed 13-Feb-13 23:55:33

If your colleague joint income is over £50,000 she won't be affected. She won't be eligible for HB, and can easily pay. People like her are the issue. It's the over 600,000 tenants who do claim HB and who can not afford to pay.

aufaniae Wed 13-Feb-13 23:55:37

The knock on effect on disease is something else to be concerned about IMO. If we have more crowed housing conditions, TB will probably rise for example.

DS had to have a TB jab when he was a baby as we lived in Hackney and the rate is high there.

A study into why the incidence of TB is so high in Hackney found that there was one main factor was overcrowding.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Wed 13-Feb-13 23:56:00

Sorry, People like her are not the issue

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 13-Feb-13 23:59:04

But people like her should not be in social housing! I work for a housing association and we have many tenants not getting HB but have been in their flats for years and could afford to buy or rent privately and choose not too.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 14-Feb-13 00:06:52

Social housing was never intended to be assigned only to the most needy. It was always intended to be a service anyone could use. People of all classes lived in it - houses were set aside for police officers, firefighters, paramedics. teachers lived in it in the areas they worked. Even vicars and MPs often lived in council houses. It was intended to be diverse and egalitarian. It is only since Thatcher that it has been seen as something for the destitute.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 14-Feb-13 00:10:08

That may historically have been the case but it is simply no longer realistic. It is wrong that I have loads of young people living in homeless hostels on next to nothing, when my employer has countless houses filled with well off tradesmen etc who can afford to pay full market rent, not the couple of hundred a month they currently are.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 14-Feb-13 00:11:21

Yes, that is wrong. But the answer is to build more houses, not to punish vulnerable people for having one.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 14-Feb-13 00:12:40

When I say wrong, I mean that people are languishing in hostels, not that other people have a decent, affordable, secure roof over their heads.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 14-Feb-13 00:17:02

The problem is that there is no money or land to simply build more social housing. I strongly believe that social housing should only be there for those that need it most. Both from ethical reasons and financial- while social housing is being used by those that don't actually need it, the government is having to spend more on the homeless through the running of hostels and paying for hotels etc. It is a financial drain.

fortyplus Thu 14-Feb-13 00:22:02

scarlettsmummy2 - there's loads of money to build new social housing! There's still a desperate shortage but most of the larger Housing Associations are actively building. Recent changes to Housing Finance mean that councils are able to build for the first time in decades.

fortyplus Thu 14-Feb-13 00:28:24

As for social rents not covering repairs and maintenance of the properties...

...that's not the case in most areas. The exceptions are inner city areas with high rise blocks. System-built 1960s flats are coming to the end of their useful lives. I live and work in an area where the social housing is of traditional brick construction and the picture is quite rosy since the move to self financing in Arpil 2012. Up till then we had more than 40% of our rental income taken away to subsidise other areas.

And in case anyone is wondering - Council Housing is not paid for by Council Tax. Councils that retain housing stock have a separate, ring-fenced account called the Housing REvenue Account.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 14-Feb-13 00:39:49

I agree that there is some money, not loads, and the grant has reduced in the last year. Also, many HA are now going in to mid market rents, great for those on work, but won't help those who are unemployed.

nailak Thu 14-Feb-13 00:45:54

hmm, how come those who are over occupying dont get increase in benefits though?

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