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AIBU to think not enough people are aware of the proposed changes to social housing?

(447 Posts)
StripeySherbert Sun 21-Feb-16 18:34:43

The housing and planning bill is going to the 3rd stage in the House of Lords but I don't see much about it, it is going to affect so many people!

Pay to stay will be introduced, households with a 40k income for London or 30k elsewhere will pay local market rate rent, this extra rent goes to the government, not the councils. People who start paying private rented levels of rent will maybe expect more for their money? There will be no extra money in the pot, it's going to Central Government.

The new national living wage being introduced, the sums show that most households with 2 working full time will hit the 30k.

New tenancies will have a fixed term of 2 to 5 years. Meaning social housing will only be for those who have no other way to find housing themselves, whilst they get on their feet, most would think this should be the case, I use to think that should be the case myself, but that's not how communities form, being friendly with the neighbours, instead this could promote "sink estates?"

Councils will be forced to sell high value council properties that become empty or face a levy charge if they don't. Again, this money does not go to the council, it goes to Central Government.

This is only it in part, yet it seems to be flying under the radar!

Some of the changes wouldn't be so bad if the money went back into the local area/ local housing.

Itsallaboutme3 Sun 21-Feb-16 18:39:41

I dont know much about this but i am place marking. If it does come in it will have a massive impact on us. Both working. Earn 40k between us both but we have 3 dc pay childcare and don't have much left each month. I wish we could afford to buy but unfortunatelt the massive deposit needed just makes it impossible for us.
Really hope this does not happen.

Itsallaboutme3 Sun 21-Feb-16 18:43:01

Stripey...how do you know about this? I remember reading something a while back but then have not heard anything since

StripeySherbert Sun 21-Feb-16 18:44:32

It's passed through parliament, the parliament website gives a good explanation of the stages:

services.parliament.uk/bills/2015-16/housingandplanning.html

Itsallaboutme3 Sun 21-Feb-16 18:45:49

Thanks for that, i'll have a read

StripeySherbert Sun 21-Feb-16 18:48:31

I've been doing a lot of reading about it all and one of the best sites explaining in laymans terms, is Camden council.

www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/housing/housing-policy-and-strategies/housing-and-planning-bill/

They have a link to a really good pdf. I don't work for them by the way! It's just explained really well on there.

bimandbam Sun 21-Feb-16 18:58:43

Thanks for this stripey, I have been hoping someone could find information on this.

I am worried about this. Currently a sahm but planning on working when ds goes ft. We live in a ha property and with combined incomes I suspect it will take us over the threshold which will increase our rent significantly.

Do you know if/how they will apply this to existing tenancies? I don't see how they can as permanent tenancies are pretty difficult to amend once given.

I know it's pretty selfish to only worry about my own family but I really am concerned and hope that they can't do that.

I know they got around the bedroom tax by getting a reduction in housing benefits but can't see how they could do this with existing tenancies? I don't even see how they could force existing tenants with no rent arrears and a permanent tenancy to even disclose how much the household is earning.

NapoleonsNose Sun 21-Feb-16 19:13:41

It will affect us massively as well. DH just over minimum wage F/T, I work 30 hours for around £9 an hour. I was planning on working f/t after April which would take us over £30k, but it would be pointless as any wage increase will be wiped, and then some, by the increase in rent. I'm worried tbh. We've had our HA tenancy for nearly 20 years, so I guess its a clever way of getting people to eventually buy their property if HAs go the way of council properties, as we would probably be eligible for a significant discount if we did buy. Still couldn't afford it though.

evilcherub Sun 21-Feb-16 19:22:14

Won't people just reduce their hours/go part time or get their employer to pay into a pension rather than pay this? I actually think this is just a way for the Tories to try and get social housing tenants to buy their properties, reducing the amount of genuine social housing available, so that everyone has to pay through the nose for insecure crap housing, so that the banks get their pound of flesh.

Beth2511 Sun 21-Feb-16 19:26:50

We would be over the limit if i work more thany my contracted hours which i often do. It would be pointless me working any extra.

We get our secure lifetime tenancy in july just hope we get it in tine. Would it affect those with an existing secure tenancy?

Itsallaboutme3 Sun 21-Feb-16 19:29:38

Thanks for the link stripey. I too am really worried about this. If this did come in then i would have to give up work because it would be pointless.

HelenaDove Sun 21-Feb-16 19:30:11

The new trap....work more to qualify for Universal Credit.

work less to keep your home.

makingmiracles Sun 21-Feb-16 19:32:53

From what I read and understand it won't affect existing tenants, only new tenants, that may not be right, I don't know.

Trills Sun 21-Feb-16 19:34:15

Reducing the inequality between a family who are in social housing and a family in otherwise-identical circumstances who are not in social housing is a worthy goal.

I don't know enough about the precise economics to know if this is the best way to go about achieving that goal.

MrsDeathOfRats Sun 21-Feb-16 19:38:55

I imagine it will effect any one who has a flexible tenancy.

I have one and every 5 years I will be reviewed to see if I still qualify for social housing. The review is based on income and if it under the threshold for the area we live in then we will get another 5 years. If it's over we are given 8 months to move out.
So I suspect that during this current tenancy they can't raise the rent but once a new tenancy is signed it will be written in.

We don't meet the threshold now as I am studying but once I work aswell then we will meet it. However, it then wouldn't be beneficial to us for me to work.... So to the PP who said people will work part time/ reduced hours etc.
I think your on the money there.

LillyInTheMoon Sun 21-Feb-16 19:44:09

Reducing the inequality between a family who are in social housing and a family in otherwise-identical circumstances who are not in social housing is a worthy goal.

But surely the better way to do that is to make private rents more affordable and everyone's better off, rather than making everyone poorer just so that it's equal.

LillyInTheMoon Sun 21-Feb-16 19:45:18

*so that everyone's better off

LillyInTheMoon Sun 21-Feb-16 19:48:56

God that post didn't make much sense. Overall I meant that it shouldn't be a race to the bottom. The private rent market, at least in my area, is out of control. Absolutely no security and very high rents. Surely the aim should be to improve the private market, rather than worsen the circumstances for people in social housing

UmmedAndAhhed Sun 21-Feb-16 19:49:05

I agree they should do something about current rents which are completely unaffordable for most people, especially families that have childcare chats in top.

I do think it's a good idea to review tenancies though. I know a few people in social housing that either own a property as well or earn £70k+ per year. Given how many families are in temporary accommodation I think it's a really poor use of resources, not to mention totally unfair.

SaucyJack Sun 21-Feb-16 19:50:35

It might not even be so bad if councils were then able and prepared to invest the money into bringing the standard of their housing stock up to that of property on the open market to provide higher paying tenants with value for money.

But they won't. So people will then be expected to pay thousands extra a year to live in damp concrete boxes with no flooring and 40 year old kitchens.

Ah well. Private tenants have been shafted for decades now. I suppose it's only fair that council tenants bend over and take one for the team.

HelenaDove Sun 21-Feb-16 19:54:01

They already are Saucy There are major problems with things like gas safety checks and repairs in some areas of social housing.

expatinscotland Sun 21-Feb-16 19:54:35

I completely agree, Lilly.

StripeySherbert Sun 21-Feb-16 19:55:02

The councils will not be getting the extra rent Saucy. It goes to government.

As for reviewing tenancies, I agree to an extent but not by offering people just 2-5 years then you're out unless there are extreme circumstances. Tenancies of those living in a 4 bed alone need reviewing, yes. The proposed changes will lead to those sink estates making a come back.

HelenaDove Sun 21-Feb-16 19:56:18

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/2572150-Council-building-work-nails-and-car-tyres

HelenaDove Sun 21-Feb-16 19:57:13

YY with Lilly and expat.

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