Welfare Reforms could cost £10m a year
- 15 Feb
One of the housing associations taking part in the Direct Payment pilot scheme says the reforms could end up costing it £10 million a year.
Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) has seen rent arrears rise by 9% since it began trialling direct payments.
WDH's chief executive, Kevin Dodd, estimates that the combined effect of the Government's welfare changes could wipe £300 million from his organisation's business plan.
Part of the Government's forthcoming Universal Credit system will see rents paid to tenants rather than directly to landlords.
Mr Dodd says that the arrears have risen from 2% before the project started to 11%, which is a total of £180,000.
With their individual project, only half of their 2,000 tenants have been gradually introduced to the project, starting with those most likely to be able to manage their money.
200 out of the 1,000 tenants have already been changed back to the previous payment method, as they were consistently underpaying, and the programme has shown up many more 'vulnerable' tenants than was previously realised.
Mr Dodd explains that challenges for tenants have included banks and other creditors taking money from accounts before direct debits for rent can be paid.
WDH believe that residents with low-level mental health problems and alcohol dependency may need greater support - not just to pay their rent but also to turn their lives around.
Mr Dodd argues:
If landlords are expected to increase what they already do, we need revised data-sharing agreements to define vulnerability at an earlier stage. Tenants should also have the choice of whether they accept Direct Payments or not. This is not about protecting the income streams, but the wellbeing of those who cannot cope with the increased pressure.
In short, we believe welfare reform could cost WDH up to £10 million each year - the equivalent of losing £300 million from our total business plan."
The CEO told a House of Commons inquiry that more advertising went in to the digital switchover and promoting Right to Buy than making people aware of how welfare reform changes affect them.
Source: 24 Dash
- 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...
How to Fund Housing Support and Social Care Sevices Extremely informative, excellent speaker. Alison Halstead - Riverside ECHG