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housing benefit and social cleansing? what do you think?

(77 Posts)
Tortington Sun 16-Oct-11 09:43:18

apps.facebook.com/theguardian/society/2011/oct/13/housing-benefit-legal-challenge-fails

margerykemp Sun 16-Oct-11 09:49:42

Cant get the link, can you try again?

Tortington Sun 16-Oct-11 10:04:51

www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/13/housing-benefit-legal-challenge-fails?newsfeed=true

Tortington Sun 16-Oct-11 10:18:25

www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/14/iain-duncan-smith-losing-cool?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487 another one - still the guardian..,.i;m not biased much grin

"This could mean upwards of 20,000 children having to move, 14,000 out of their local area, resulting in disruption to education, health and social services. The Social Security Advisory Committee advised the government not to proceed with the changes, arguing that the risks – of increasing levels of homelessness, crime and serious disruption to poor children's schooling – outweighed any financial savings.

However the judge dismissed CPAG's claim – essentially agreeing with the government that the purpose of housing benefit was not to prevent homelessness, but to help claimants with their rent while also protecting the public purse. Ministers were within their rights to cut back spending."

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 16-Oct-11 10:30:26

Isn't it that the main area affected by the new limits on HB is London, that London is the most ethnically diverse area with the highest rents and that families from certain ethnic backgrounds tend to be larger, and therefore live in bigger, more expensive social housing, than others? To extrapolate that up to an emotional charge of 'ethnic cleansing' has obviously been thrown out by the court as not valid.

There remains a duty on councils to house residents. It could well be that, if there are no alternatives, many end up staying exactly where they are. It could equally mean that landlords, unable to get the generous HB from tenants, are forced to reduce rents. But of course the government should have look at reducing cost of subsidising private rents as part of an overall housing strategy.

Dillydaydreaming Sun 16-Oct-11 10:39:13

Good to see IDS associating housing benefit payments with people out of work! Even though 80% of claimants in London are actually IN work. But why let a silly thing like fact get in the way of his stupid rant hmm

TethHearseEnd Sun 16-Oct-11 10:45:30

Given that rents in London are substantially higher, why is the cap on HB the same nationwide?

This is what has given rise to the 'social cleansing' claim IMO. Because, in many parts of London, that's exactly what it looks like.

Hullygully Sun 16-Oct-11 10:48:57

yes

can't say more as will explode with rage

Solopower Sun 16-Oct-11 10:51:41

I think this will eventually clear some areas of poorer people, who will move to other areas, and this will lead to ghettoisation and eventually to more gated communities. Is this what we want?

SurprisEs Sun 16-Oct-11 10:53:44

I know pretty much nothing about politics do excuse my ignorance and please do correct me when needed.

It does appear to me that there is a hint of social cleans

Wormshuffler Sun 16-Oct-11 10:54:36

Surely the only way to approach this is to build more council rented accomodation, and not pay rents to private landlords?

SurprisEs Sun 16-Oct-11 10:54:54

Sorry pressed enter accidentally. One moment smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 16-Oct-11 11:00:40

"I think this will eventually clear some areas of poorer people"

In any town or city in the UK there are expensive and cheaper areas to live. The North of England is a cheaper place to live than the South of England. Alderley Edge has not been 'cleansed' of poor but average housing costs mean that it's populated by wealthier people. Moss Side in Manchester is the reverse but has never been 'cleansed of rich people'. Don't we generally end up living somewhere we can afford?

SurprisEs Sun 16-Oct-11 11:01:02

There is a hint of social cleansing in this reform but mostly I think it has to do with the obvious fact that the country doesn't have the money to keep up with the cost of some private rents. There is a need for a cap on housing benefit and there is a huge need for more council housing. I don't think it is up to the government though to ensure people live in the area they want to. Why not try ( sometimes not possible) to move somewhere more affordable?

TethHearseEnd Sun 16-Oct-11 11:09:01

"Don't we generally end up living somewhere we can afford?"

To an extent, but there are worrying ramifications if it becomes impossible to live in the capital city without earning substantially more than the minimum wage.

TethHearseEnd Sun 16-Oct-11 11:09:55

Why can a cap not be set at a percentage of average local market rents?

Solopower Sun 16-Oct-11 11:10:19

If the government wanted to protect the people on Housing Benefit, and reduce the amount of taxpayers' money that goes to landlords through the payment of HB - wouldn't they cap the amount a landlord can charge for rent? This wouldn't put people off letting out their properties, but it would be fairer, imo. They could help the landlords out in other ways - grants for the maintenance of properties, for example.

PootlePosyPumpkin Sun 16-Oct-11 11:16:50

I agree that the same levels should not be set nationally. Where I live, you could rent the most luxurious 3 bedroom house on the market for under £340 per week (the limit of HB) or £1473 PCM, as it would work out. We would probably be looking at about £950 PCM. However, if there are places in the country where you cannot rent a decent house for that amount (and I'm not talking about the poshest areas, just somewhere half decent to raise DCs), then it makes no sense that the same limits apply there as they do here.

PootlePosyPumpkin Sun 16-Oct-11 11:21:03

Solo - but wouldn't that make more landlords specify "no DSS", if they had to limit their rents. There are already many who won't accept tenants on HB.

SurprisEs Sun 16-Oct-11 11:21:08

Maybe I'm just a bit bitter but why should I have to cope in a studio flat with DH and DD in a not so good area buy someone else can decide they want to live in London and it's up to the government to cover for it?
I moved somewhere affordable for me, why can't the rest do the same?

PootlePosyPumpkin Sun 16-Oct-11 11:22:29

"Don't we generally end up living somewhere we can afford?"

Yes, but not all minimum wage/low wage jobs are north of Watford.

TheSecondComing Sun 16-Oct-11 11:29:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 16-Oct-11 11:29:16

Agreed that not all minimum wage jobs are north of Watford.... but if people who do those jobs can't afford to live in the city, then they will gradually leave. When employers find they can't get staff any more they'll have to up the wages to attract them back (as already happens with London Weighting in higher-paid jobs) and landlords sitting with empty properties will have to reduce rents. At the moment we have tax credits propping up too-low wages and HB propping up too-high rents. That's why there's a problem.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 16-Oct-11 11:30:07

@TheSecondComing... Are you trying to make me out as a racist? hmm

TethHearseEnd Sun 16-Oct-11 11:31:48

"I moved somewhere affordable for me, why can't the rest do the same?"

Can you imagine what would happen to London if everyone 'moved where they could afford'?

No more cleaners, TAs, waiters... I mean, the city would be completely devoid of anyone on minimum wage. Heaven forbid those people should want to start (and house) a family. Many families are already living in studios and 1 bed flats, working and still receiving HB; doesn't that seem ridiculous?

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