Author Topic: Public perceptions of the removal of the spare room subsidy.  (Read 2178 times)

AccessOfficer

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"From 1 April 2013 the government reduced entitlement to Housing Benefit for working age tenants renting from a local authority, housing association or other registered social landlord who have more bedrooms than the government thinks they need according to set criteria.

Those with 1 extra bedroom have a 14% reduction applied to their eligible rent and those with two or more extra bedrooms have a 25% reduction applied.

This survey examines perceptions of the policy among the general public, following-up in more detail on data collected via a small number of questions included in a survey conducted in June largely focused on the benefit cap."

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-perceptions-of-the-removal-of-the-spare-room-subsidy

Regards
AO.

Fizzbw

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And all of the questions are skewed or unanswerable in any way but to confirm the governments point of views.

Fx

AccessOfficer

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Hi FX,
I noticed that too. Typical government sneaky way of trying to justify their appealing policies of hitting the most vulnerable in society and not their more wealthy supporters.

Regards
AO

seegee

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            Survey asks ...if it results in xyz... er, yes, but mainly it'll result in more money going into private landlords' accounts rather than social housing providers' budgets - because there are not enough 1-bed or 2-bed social properties for "under-occupiers" to move into. 

Private rentals tend to be more expensive for a similar property - it'd cost more for a private-let bedsit than a 1-bed flat from the council.

No mention of the fact that a lot of this help with rent goes to landlords of people who are in paid work of course.

Fiz

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http://welfarenewsservice.com/affordable-homes-facing-demolition-bedroom-tax/


Three-bedroom homes are being condemned to demolition by housing associations because the coalition’s bedroom tax has made them too expensive for tenants to live in, the Observer can reveal.
 
Despite a national property shortage, providers of affordable homes are unable to find people who can meet the cost of living in a home with an extra bedroom and are, in some cases, planning demolitions. In Liverpool, one housing provider, Magenta Living, has admitted that “with changes to welfare benefits there is very little prospect of letting upper three-bedroom maisonettes in the current climate”.
 
In a letter to Alison McGovern, the Labour MP for Wirral South, Magenta says one such block of flats will be “emptied with a view to subsequent demolition” because of the inability to let them out, sell them or keep up with the costs of keeping them unlived in.
 
Coast and Country Housing, a housing association in north-east England that has 10,190 homes, has also reported a huge increase in the number of empty homes and announced that demolitions are now feasible.
 
Wigan and Leigh Housing, which manages 22,576 homes on behalf of Wigan council in Greater Manchester, concurred that demolishing their unlettable larger properties may prove to be the most cost-effective step. The development will raise the temperature in a Commons debate on Tuesday in which Labour intends to vote in favour of the bedroom tax being immediately repealed.
 
A number of senior Liberal Democrats, including one cabinet minister, are also understood to have reservations about the policy.
 
Under the government’s controversial reform, the amount of housing benefit single people or couples can receive is cut if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home. Two children under 16 of the same gender are expected to share a room and two children under 10 are expected to share, regardless of gender.
 
Ministers say they have made the changes in order to maximise the use of Britain’s affordable housing stock. Figures published last week show that the year-on-year increase in the number of homes has hit its lowest ebb in a decade, with 124,720 more homes, a rate of increase 8% lower than the year before. The number of new homes built was 118,540, down from 128,160 the year before, a rate that does not keep up with population growth.
 
Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests Britain is facing a property shortage of more than a million homes by 2022 unless the rate of housebuilding is dramatically increased.
 
McGovern said the government’s welfare policy was failing on its own criteria of success: “The rhetoric coming from the government was that the bedroom tax was about cutting down the housing waiting list. But if that is the case why have we got empty homes in the Wirral? It simply hasn’t worked.”
 
Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves said this week’s Commons vote was an opportunity for the Liberal Democrats to show where they stand on the issue: “This incompetent and out of touch government seems oblivious to the perverse and costly consequences of this unjust and unworkable policy. Not only is it hitting 660,000 vulnerable households, including 440,000 disabled people; the costs to the taxpayer are mounting as people are pushed into more expensive private rented accommodation while existing social homes are left vacant.”
 
A government spokesman said: “The removal of the spare room subsidy is a necessary reform that will return fairness to housing benefit. We’ve been clear that hardworking people should not be subsidising tenants living in properties that are too large for their requirements.
 
“Consent from the Homes and Communities Agency is required before any social housing provider can dispose of a site on which social housing stood and will ensure that public investment and the needs of tenants are protected.”
 

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

seegee

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"return fairness to housing benefit" - by sending much more of it into the pockets of private landlords
 
oh & if social housing landlords want to get rid of the larger properties they can't let permanently by knocking them down - we might not let them cos we've got this quango - they just shouldn't have built them xx years ago when there was a big demand for family homes to rent...

Sunshine Meadows

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Quote
When asked about their awareness of changes to the payment of benefits, including how much people on benefits are paid, more than one third (36%) say they knew a great deal or fair amount about this before starting to complete the survey. A further 43% say they knew just a little, while around one in five (19%) say either that they had heard of this but know nothing about it, or had never heard of the changes.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/255654/public-perceptions-of-rsrs.pdf

.. so a lot more people in the survey thought they did not know a lot about the changes in benefit payments than said they do. The survey fails to look at what is influencing people's opinions about benefits and especially misses out on addressing the way Daily Mail type myths are creating a bias against helping the poor or disabled 'too much'

Fiz,

That is really shocking >yikes< especially when knocking two bedrooms into one might get around the stupid government policies.

meandmurphy

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Instead of demolition, why not sell the three bedroom properties?

auntieCtheM

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Possibly because they might be in blocks of flats.  Possibly because of high unemployment in the areas where the properties are.  Possibly because it is almost impossible to get a mortgage these days.  Possibly because Housing Associations and such-like are not able to sell off their properties by the way they are set up.

devine63

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and possibly because if they demolish the land is then available either for sale or for re-development or both - so someone is probably going to make a lot of money building a whole lot of smaller places ....
regards, Deb

seegee

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Some of the 3-bed houses may be hard to sell because they are in "undesirable" areas such as the middle of a large council estate - nothing at all wrong with the houses but it can take a long time for people to lose the idea that "xx estate is really rough". 
Bus services are often poor & may be non-existent in evenings/ at weekends.  Nearest railway station may be miles away too.  That's relevant because most people wanting 3-bed places have children - and teenagers want to go out independently of parents years before they're old enough to drive...