Bedroom tax savings likely to be less than expected
- 15 Oct
The Department of Work and Pensions have found that savings from bedroom tax could be £160m less than official projections.
Research into the first five months of the bedroom tax scheme suggests that ministers could have significantly overestimated the savings it is likely to generate.
An analysis using real data collected by four housing associations since April through a model used in 2012 by the DWP to assess the impact the policy is likely to have, found that savings were likely to be £160m less than the official projection of £480m for the first year. However employment minister Ester McVey has said the finding reflect the housing associations' "vested Interests".
Despite heavy criticism minister argue that it is essential to push ahead with the policy, officially known as the spare room subsidy, to bring the UK's rising housing benefit bill under control, reports the Guardian.
Professor Rebecca Tunstall, the reports author, says that flaws in the DWP model could mean that it is likely to have overstated the likely savings. Tunstall said: "The savings estimated by DWP assume that of the 660,000 households affected, none of them will move to a smaller home, but we know from our own research that over a fifth want to downsize to avoid the penalty.
"Tenants are already on the move, and with nearly half of those who have chosen to stay already in rent arrears, we can only see that figure going in one direction."
It is believed the DWP appears to have underestimated the number of tenants who move from social housing into private rented housing in order to avoid the bedroom tax penalty. This is due to rents in the private sector often being double of those in social housing meaning higher housing benefit payments are needed. Whilst the DWP estimated the between 10% and 30% of social housing tenants would move into the private sector the research suggests that the figure is likely to be nearer 41%.
The study also questions the government's claim that larger vacated properties would be let to families currently experiencing overcrowding. The report says: "In practice, many are likely to be taken by new households, some claiming housing benefit for the first time."
The DWP, in response to the report, said that it was not "credible" and that the findings were "skewed".
The National Housing Federation chief executive, David Orr, said: "We've been told time and time again that the bedroom tax is necessary in order to cut the housing benefit bill, but this research suggests that it could save much less money than the government claims.
"Now that the savings have been called into question, the government must ask itself why it is pushing ahead with this controversial, unfair policy. We know that it is causing hardship for thousands, with research showing that half of families hit are now struggling to pay their rents, while nearly six in 10 people around Britain think the policy should be scrapped."
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/169849
- 02 Nov
THE ONS PLANS TO CHANGE THEIR DECISION TO MAKE HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS PUBLIC BODIES
According to reports by 24 Housing, the ONS said the following:Gavin Smart, Chartered Institute of Housing's deputy chief executive also said:"Although we have been expecting this decision for some...
- 30 Aug
RECENT ANALYSIS FINDS THAT THE HELP TO BUY SCHEME HAS ADDED TO THE INFLATION OF HOUSE PRICES
The analysis of the Help to Buy Scheme revealed the following:The chief executive of Paradigm Housing Group, Matthew Bailes, said:" ... clearly, it worked well for developers, and for providers, it...
- 22 Aug
A NORTH WALES COUNCIL REVEALED THEIR WAITING LIST FOR NEW HOMES HAS REACHED BREAKING POINT
The north Wales Council revealed their waiting list for new homes has reached "breaking point".According to Clare Budden, Flintshire Council's community enterprise chief officer said:"There are...
- 17 Aug
HOMELESSNESS POLICY IS UNDER REVIEW IN A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNCIL
Kettering Borough Council has amended its letters to homeless residents to let them know of their right to request a temporary accommodation review.According to an ombudsman, Michael King:"People in...
- 15 Aug
FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS HAVE CAUSED THE CLOSURE OF MANY CHILDREN AND YOUTH CENTRES
Local Government Association (LGA) made the following findings:Chair of the LGA's children and young people board, Richard Watts, said: "The reality is that services for the care and protection of...
- 11 Aug
RESIDENTS OF BUILDINGS IN LEDBURY ESTATE, SOUTHWARK, SOUTH LONDON WILL BE MOVED OUT TEMPORARILY
The buildings in Ledbury Estate in Southwark have been constructed in a similar way to Ronan Point, a tower block in Newham which collapsed in 1968 as a result of a gas explosion, killing three. An...
- 10 Aug
THERE IS A DECLINE IN THE HOUSING MARKET IN LONDON AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) made the following findings:Chief Economist at Rics, Simon Rubinsohn:"Sales activity in the housing market has been slipping in the recent month...
- 07 Aug
REPORT FINDS THAT PEOPLE ARE INTENSELY SUFFERING FROM LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOMES IN SCOTLAND
According to the report by "Shelter":Shelter's deputy director, Alison Watson, said:"This report shows the disproportionate impact of Scotland's housing crisis on young people and private renters who...
- 02 Aug
NEW REPORT BY THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT COMMITTEE IN WALES COMMENDS HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS
The report which was put together after nine months of inquiries stated the following:Nick Ramsey, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said:"Generally, we found governance and regulation within...
- 31 Jul
LONDON COUNCIL URGES THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MEASURES TO END LETTING FEES FOR PRIVATE RENTERS
The London council say urgent action is needed because the government has not provided "a clear timescale to introduce its own measure", Letting Agent Today, reports.Last year, the government had...
Support Solutions 5th National Housing Support & Social Care Conference 2014 The conference tackled todays issues at provider level, and provided knowledgeable people to present the workshops. A.L - Caraston Hall