Recent News

Benefits cap 'not achieving aims'

The Government's benefits cap will struggle to meet its objectives of saving taxpayers' money and encouraging people into work, a report has found.

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) studied the results of the cap in Haringey, one of four London boroughs chosen as pilot areas for the scheme. 

Bedroom Tax: Can't Pay, Can't Move

The UK's housing system is in crisis due to a lack of housing stock. Shelter estimates that there is a need for 250.000 new homes to be build per year and that is just for England alone. It is pretty much universally accepted that successive governments did not find building homes politically-attractive and, due to the short-sighted ineptitude, there are simply not enough homes especially in the social sector. 

So how does the Tory-led government tackle the housing shortage crisis? Do they listen to housing and business experts and build more homes? No, they ignored these experts. Their solution to the housing shortage crisis is to manipulate the benefits system so that tenants on a low incomes pay for the housing crisis via cuts to Housing Benefit. 

Increase in rent arrears after introduction of bedroom tax

A MAJOR survey of social ­landlords has found that rent arrears have risen in some of Scotland's poorest communities since the introduction of the so-called bedroom tax. 

New figures show that the amount owed to residential social landlords (RSLs) such as housing associations soared by nearly £800,000 after the welfare reform was introduced in April this year.  

Private rents hit all-time high

The average buy-to-let investor in England and Wales earned a total return of £12,129 in the year to September, and that figure could double over the next 12 months.

According to the latest buy-to-let index from LSL Property Services, the average BTL investor enjoyed a total annual return of 7.4% in September, up sharply from 6.1% in August. 

'Bedroom tax costs could heat family home for a week'

The average financial loss faced by social housing tenants as a result of the government's controversial bedroom tax could heat a family home for almost a week, a North West-based housing association has warned.

According to the Regenda Group, the average £14 a week cut in housing benefits which tenants are facing is equivalent to the cost of six days heating every week. 

Britain’s bedroom tax shame

Housing is a human right. That isn’t just my opinion, but also that of the authors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 25 of the declaration, concerning the right to an adequate standard of living, is clear on the matter:

‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.’ (emphasis on housing is my own). 

4,000 beds for homeless lost since 2010

Homelessness projects are closing down, levels of staff are reducing and bed spaces are being lost as housing budgets are squeezed, research published today reveals.

Homeless Link, an umbrella body, said 133 homelessness projects had closed and 4,000 beds in hostels and second stage accommodation had been lost since 2010. 

John Hemming bedroom tax advice 'misguided'

A Birmingham MP has been called ‘misguided’ over his ‘idiotic’ suggestion that social housing tenants should get a lodger to avoid paying the bedroom tax. 

Lib Dem MP for Yardley John Hemming suggested that with few one-bedroom properties available in the city, tenants would do better to take someone in. 

David Cameron’s benefits crackdown ‘will hit single parents hardest’

David Cameron may be forced to rethink his plan to deny under-25s an automatic right to state benefits because many of the people losing out would be single parents.

Nick Clegg is worried that parents could be affected by proposals to restrict housing benefit for the more than one million “Neets” – young people not in education, employment or training – under a strategy announced by the Prime Minister at last week’s Conservative Party Conference. 

David Cameron vows ‘bold action’ on under-25s

The Conservative Party will look at axing housing support for under-25s as part of its manifesto for the next election, the prime minister confirmed this week.

Setting a clear direction of travel, David Cameron told delegates at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Wednesday that he wanted to see ‘bold action’ in ending welfare dependency among young people. 

Bedroom tax: MS sufferer wins human rights appeal

A WOMAN who cannot share a bedroom with her partner because of disability has won a landmark ruling that reducing her welfare benefits under the bedroom tax is a breach of her human rights.

The woman, who has multiple sclerosis, won her appeal against Glasgow City Council’s decision to apply the 14 per cent deduction for her “spare” bedroom at a tribunal hearing. 

Disabled tenants get ok to fight bedroom tax in Court of Appeal

Adults and children with disabilities who are challenging the government’s bedroom tax have been granted permission to take their fight to the Court of Appeal after losing a High Court challenge earlier this year.

Giving his reasons for granting an appeal hearing, the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Aikens said that the cases "raise issues of public importance concerning the amended housing benefit scheme and the needs of disabled/ young people and so should be considered by the Court of Appeal. Further, the points raised in the grounds of appeal and the proposed ‘skeleton’ argument have a reasonable prospect of success.”