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So the housing benefit changes being delayed by 9 months.

(15 Posts)
BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Sun 28-Nov-10 17:41:36

story here

(sorry if there's another thread about this - had a look but couldn't see one).

families already over the proposed cap will be given until January 2012 to move (and of course will ease the pressure on local councils who when faced with 1000's of homeless people are going to have to find them homes).

Wonder what other changes will be delayed as they realise that a little more planning needed doing before introducing them?

newwave Sun 28-Nov-10 18:49:12

I suspect that the ConDems realise the damage they will do to the most vulnerable in society and are starting to back off a bit. Not because they care but because of the damage it will do to "Daves" image and will reinforce the well deserved "nasty party" name.

In truth a lot of the headline cuts will be quietly dropped or moderated and if possible they will try to shift the blame to local councils.

littlepossum Sun 28-Nov-10 19:49:50

I think the Tories are stupid to back down on this policy. It's their fairest and most sensible policy by far.

Giving people £400/week is £21k/year AFTER TAX or £28k/year before tax. That's more than the average UK salary. That goes straight to some BTL landlord.

My DH and I now pay £3000/month or £36k/year to live in a 4 bed house in London. Two families in the cul-de-sac are on housing benefit and get the rent completely free. Neither have anyone working in their family and three children.

How can it be fair we pay tax to put up these families in luxury? How is it fair that our rent is driven up by local councils paying way more than necessary to landlords to house these families. They could easily get a 3 bed in a less affluent area for half to a third that price.

Housing benefit is for those in dire need and should provide the minimum that will do the job. £400/week is more than enough.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Sun 28-Nov-10 19:56:40

Think is though a lot of those on HB over £400 a week WON'T be getting it all paid.

There are 1000's of people that have to top up their HB with money either from their income, or their other benefits - there simply aren't enough "affordable" homes that will/can accept HB for them to move into.

"housing benefit is for those in dire need"

No it's not - it's to help those on low wages AND THAT INCLUDES WORKING PEOPLE to pay their rent.

For starters - a family with 3 children won't be getting the HB for a 4 bedroom house......

and I'd love to know which area this is that the LHA for a 3 bedroom house is nearly £700 a week.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Sun 28-Nov-10 20:09:05

ok - I've found Kensington and Chelsea 3 bedroom LHA is £750 a week LHA

so "inner London" £750 a week for a 3 bedroom house so I stand corrected on the price. However I'm quite amazed that they've found a LL that will accept full housing benefit on a rent for that amount!!!!

"inner north London" £440 for a 3 bedroom house.

littlepossum Sun 28-Nov-10 20:20:39

I was talking about a 4 bed house. LHA in my area is £1000/week for that or over £4000/month (City of Westminster). Why do people with 3 kids even need a 4 bed house? A 3 bed would be ample or even a 2 bed with a sofa bed in the living room.

Even for other parts of inner london you can get up to £3350/month for a 5 bed. Its completely ridiculous that taxpayers have to pay these sorts of numbers.

Why can't they just commute further like everybody else does? When I started off my door to door to central london was 1hr 30min. You can rent a 3 bed out out there for £1000/month.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Sun 28-Nov-10 20:25:36

That's what I'm saying - if they have 3 children they WON'T be getting the LHA for a 4 bedroom house (unless there are very specific SN involved)

And it's very difficult to commute on a minimum wage job....

littlepossum Sun 28-Nov-10 20:27:18

The problem is that the Local Authorities use the 50th percentile as maximum for rentals.

This pushes rentals up since landlords know that if they all raise rents, the 50th percentile rises and they can charge more to the LL for HB. This positive feedback loop allows landlords tp really abuses the process.

The tories introduced an arbitrary £400/week cap to be replaced later by using the 30th percentile. This seems so much fairer. People needing HB can still find a house but at least they don't get an house at the lower end of the spectrum and the process if anything lowers rents.

littlepossum Sun 28-Nov-10 20:28:12

And the people don't even have a job ... so they don't have anywhere to commute to. They could live in on the top of a mountain for all it matters.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Sun 28-Nov-10 20:32:11

30th percentile thing is SHIT.

It doesn't include those that are rented privately without an agent - no-one is going to scour the local papers and corner shops looking for the houses that are rented direct by the landlord.

All it's going to mean is that people that are entitled to HB are going to have to pay more of their income/benefits to be able to have a roof over their heads.

Rents won't drop.

And they haven't yet said how they intend to persuade LL's and mortgage/insurance companies to allow HB claimants live in their houses.

Trying to find a house even if you're only getting a small amount of HB (ie not full amount) is already difficult, especially if you have children. This is going to make it even harder.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Sun 28-Nov-10 20:37:54

do you know why they don't have a job? Do you have an insiders view of their finances/life? Do you know how much their rent is? Just because your rent is £3000 a month doesn't mean theirs is. And their LHA won't have

Given that you hadn't even realised they won't be getting LHA for a 4 bedroom house......

I've never thought of Kensington and Chelsea or any other inner city part of having cul-de-sacs blush

jackstarbright Sun 28-Nov-10 20:38:13

The annual cost of housing benefit reached £15bn. Just think of the affordable housing could have been built for that. Instead the money went into an already over-heated housing market and to private landlords.

BaroqinAroundTheChristmasTree Sun 28-Nov-10 20:39:56

actually only 19% of those in private rentals receive any housing benefit at all (and many of those will only be getting a small amount paid)

And lets not forget with the new changes to social housing it's highly likely that they'll

a) be kicking out working people who are elligble for at least some LHA into private

b) are talking about putting homeless people into private rentals........

dreamingofsun Tue 30-Nov-10 09:37:29

fair enough if they have just delayed it for a year so tennants can put plans in place so they aren't homeless.

But i agree with this policy - people who are on benefits shouldn't be able to live in very expensive houses that are above the means of most of the working population.

we have lost our child benefit and my children's degrees will cost them nearly 100k (tuition fees, living costs, money they could have earned in a job). its really rubbing salt in if people on the dole are getting such vast sums still.

SharronM1 Tue 30-Nov-10 11:15:21

can't see that many people (or their landords) will be getting £400 per week.
The limit is for a 4 bed house in Central London.
Under LHA rules a couple needs to have at least 4 children (5 if they are under 10) to qualify for a 4 bed house.
But as there is also to be a £500 cap on total benefits the household will not be able to have £400 for rent unless all their other benefits total less than £100. This includes their Child Benefit.Thus a family with £250 in benefits would only be allowed Housing Benefit of £250. The landlord could still charge far more than this.
For most of the country the 30% percentile matters far more than the cap. The current (50th percentile) limit for a 4 bed house in Sheffield is £155 per week. For a young person with a room in a shared house it is £65. Under 30th percentile these limits are set to reduce. Even now many people are having to top up their Housing Benefit due to the rent being above that which is allowed.Some people are left with less than half their £65/£51.85 JSA.
Comparing Housing Benefit to average earnings is pointless; workers on £25000 or more can get Housing benefit if their eligible rent is high enough.
The answer is: build more council houses. Then we would pay just for the cost of the housing and not for the landlords' profits.

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