to think people are being deliberately perverse about Council/HA..(486 Posts)
1) Social (council or HA) rents are not subsidized.
2)Social (council or HA) tenancies are not a form of welfare benefit.
It's not that hard to grasp is it?
When you take away the unscrupulous greedy LLs and the amateur 'dabblers' I wonder what is left?
I really hope you come back and read as this may help you.
If you have more than 1 child and your disabled chid would be expected to share with another one AND both are eligible for child benefit.
You could be exempt from the under occupancy charge (bedroom tax)
It's not automatic you have to apply, you do this by email/ letter stating your child's disability and if it creates a unreasonable disturbance to the child expected to share with them.
Follow it up with a letter confirming the disability and night time impact from your GP.
The important bits are
B.impact on child expected to share with the disabled child.
They do not care if the disabled child is disturbed only if the child normally expected to share would be (they also do consider safeguarding if the disability has behaviour issues as a symptom)
The law says they have to consider the impact on the sharing child and if to much disturbance happens or that child could be at risk they should exempt.
If that does not work (it should) try putting in a application to the discretionary housing fund via HB it's a short term top up and many areas are prioritising households with disability adapted houses
We all need to write to Andrew Stanford of the Private Rented Sector Taskforce
What a fantastic thread - I mean that sincerely. It has brought in many of the arguements that the housing sector argues about on a daily basis, but some of them have been conflated in the thead.
So to clear up how Affordable housing finance works in England - outside London (London, Wales, Scotland and NI all have different ways of working).
Terms first -
Provider = HA, RSL, Stock owning councils, ALMOs, developers, community land trusts ect. If they are also managing the tenancies they will need to be registered with the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) - (Registered Provider or RP)
Affordable Rent = up to 80% of market rent based on a RICS valuation, inclusive of service charges
Social rent= capped rent set using the formula set out in the HCA regulatory framework. AKA Target rent
New Affordable housing is paid for by using a mix of Provider finance (rent surplus, own resources, borrowing against future rental income streams and cross subsidy from open market sales), other public subsidy (sometimes a local authority will sell their land at a reduced receipt) and the remainder is made up using capital grant funding. The capital grant funding is treated as a debt on the balance sheets and is repayable if the property is sold on.
The reason for the capital grant is that it makes up the financial viability gap between the borrowing capacity generated by the difference in income between market and Affordable Rents.
This is further complicaetd by section 106 provision, where planners grant planning to a developer on the proviso that a proportion of the new houses are sold onto a RP at a reduced amount so that a sub market rent can be charged to the tenant. Additional grant cannot be used to subsidise these units.
Some new build affordable provision is also self financing - it may be that they have a high proportion of flats, the local authority has put the land in free. These units are known as nil grant units and are also offered at AR.
Grant can only be paid to units (except in exceptional circumstances) that are let on Affordable Rent
To increase the amount of new build finance availiable to a provider they can convert an agreed amount of properties from Social rent to AR. This is monitored and strictly enforced or otherwise the housing benefit costs would spiral.
Because the majority of the finance comes from borrowing against rental income in it is easier to build new properties in areas where the rents are higher. However this may need to be balanced against this is the higher land cost.
On another note all providers who recieve capital grant must undergo annual financial tests so that the grant can be protected - it was said earlier up thread that "cowboy HAs" are given grant funding. This is not the case.
Most RPs are not for profit organisations and will have a company structure that protects this, such as charitable status, co-op, or an industrial provident company. Many came into being when the stock was transfered from council ownership after tenant ballots. This was to access funding to bring the properties up to habital standards.
So in effect social / Affordable housing rent is subsidised, but from a variety of sources and the older the stock the less of a liability on the balance sheet, therefore the more available income to borrow against to build more Affordable housing. The tenants of today are subsidising the building of new Affordable housing in the future, as are the people buying new build properties with s106 provision on site, as are the general taxpayer through HB payments.
As to the argument as to why we provide social Affordable housing - is it for those most in need or to create stable communities I will leave to you ladies to decide.
Ani We needed a public housing finance specialist
So is it fair to summarise that we have been oversimplifying on both sides of the debate?
I'm going to have to read your post a second time somewhere quiet because I want to ask you a couple of things. Hopefully you'll be back
That's interesting Wisnea. Are you in the south?
Ok Viv what is your idea of where the income cut off should be?
Fideline,sorry didn't come back sooner this is in Scotland Midlothian council (just around Edinburgh but not edinburgh).
There's also a process of if. A house is offered 3 times and if no one takes it on the priority then it is up for anyone to ask for it,
We do not apply for houses here but a waiting list to be offered..
Thanks Ani that's really informative and helpful. Another funding stream for local councils is the New Homes Bonus paid by central government to local councils per new units built. Unfortunately, it isn't specified that this money is ring-fenced for affordable housing and councils (eg: mine) can do what they want with it.
Another circumstance is that many developers negotiate with the council to pay a 'commuted' sum to the council (the council that is responsible for making planning decisions) instead of including the 'affordable' homes in the development. It is then up to the council when and where it will use this money to build the affordable homes and this can be anywhere in the District (for example) and nowhere near the community that is accepting the new development. If it can be negotiated to build some affordable housing in the community that is absorbing the new development with the commuted sum, this necessitates obtaining additional land which not only increases the scale of new development but the cost of building the affordable homes due to having to purchase the land.
Re the 'affordable' rent - this can be set as high as 80% of market rent - I know a working family that finally were offered one such tenancy (and gratefully grasped) and they are now paying £680 pcm for the smallest sort of new build 2-bed house they can legally build. £680 is %80 of £850, the top end of the market price.
I don't think this is affordable to someone on a low wage - not everyone can be in a economically-successful job and often those that are will need or employ additional help such as cleaners, gardeners, window cleaners, postmen, dustmen, shop assistants, etc. - who will be paid a far lower wage.
It is the low paid that need affordable housing as much as the well paid need the low paid.
Sorry Ani forgot to come back.
Be back this evening with questions
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