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to think people are being deliberately perverse about Council/HA..

(486 Posts)
fideline Tue 11-Mar-14 21:22:23


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?

fideline Mon 17-Mar-14 17:07:50

Sorry Ani forgot to come back.

Be back this evening with questions smile

IamRechargingthankYou Sat 15-Mar-14 20:42:00

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.

WisneaMe Sat 15-Mar-14 19:00:10

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..

fideline Sat 15-Mar-14 14:33:04

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 smile

Anifrangapani Sat 15-Mar-14 09:02:54

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.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 23:59:43

Or is it time i put the wine down?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 23:51:48

Well found purple

Wrong thread though?

We all need to write to Andrew Stanford of the Private Rented Sector Taskforce smile

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 13-Mar-14 21:14:04

Sorry for that little hijack

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 13-Mar-14 21:13:40


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

A.the disability
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

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:44:20

When you take away the unscrupulous greedy LLs and the amateur 'dabblers' I wonder what is left?

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:43:20

There are LLs on the other thread saying that they have to have the right to evict tenants at any minute, because savings they might need for their own bills or emergencies are tied up in their BTL properties shock

What is wrong with keeping emergency savings in the building society and saving the poor tenants the hassle?

Viviennemary Thu 13-Mar-14 20:38:05

Landlords are in it for the money. A lot of them are a bit unscrupulous. All this they make no money from it is a bit risible tbh.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:29:49

Yes Chunderella It amazes me that high LTV BTL mortgages are still available

Chunderella Thu 13-Mar-14 20:22:00

The thing about private landlords charging market rates is that we don't have an actual free market in the private sector either. It's no more 'real' than social housing. Private landlords such as Laura's daughter are charging what the market will bear, but given the level of interference with it that isn't really market rate in any meaningful sense. For that to happen we'd need an end to the property ponzi and its effects. We'd need realistic interest rates, an end to help to buy, less restrictive and nimby friendly planning laws, probably more restrictive lending.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 20:03:36

The market is somewhat overheated though Laura

To be honest, owning a BTL flat for which the rent received barely covers an interest only mortgage sounds rather tight. I would find that stressful, but presumably she is doing it for the capital gain?

gamerchick Thu 13-Mar-14 19:40:18

But she will be left with a house in the end that's been fully paid off by somebody else though right laura? Is that not a profit?

LauraBridges Thu 13-Mar-14 19:37:54

My daughter charges the market rent. That is the point. Any landlord with a large mortgage makes very little or no profit on the rent and yet all these tenants out thre think they are being fleeced. There is a total lack of understanding, They see she charges £1300 and think she may be raking it in!

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:58:44

That'll certainly grab their attention Chunder smile

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:58:08

Just posted this in legal. I;m sure a lot of worried people would appreciate the clarification

balenciaga Thu 13-Mar-14 18:53:54

God yeah that's low

40k in London is fuck all really

Mind you sounds like it's just people aren't allowed to initially apply who are on 40k + ... But that's still shit IMO as it's going against what social housing was originally for sad

Chunderella Thu 13-Mar-14 18:52:23




That needed saying three times and in capitals because the people who think it is means tested either don't know this important fact, or are ignoring it. There are plenty of areas in which you get priority for working: it's the opposite of means testing, in fact.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:45:01

So it is still in the consultation stage but they do sound serious. £40,000 in H & F is low.

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:43:47

It says;

^" Some Conservative-led local authorities are already tightening eligibility rules for new tenants, denying social housing to middle earners.

Hammersmith and Fulham in London is considering denying social housing to applicants with a combined income of more than £40,000.

Westminster council is thought to be planning to adopt a similar policy and planning a higher cap of £50,000 or £60,000.

The new rules proposed in next month’s consultation will take force where councils do not chose to impose their own income limit. "

fideline Thu 13-Mar-14 18:40:03

Just rereading it...

34000 council households have income of more than £60000.....

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