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Housing : Social Tenants / BTL & HB Problems / Shortages / Grenfell Tower Fallout - Page 11 - Carers UK Forum

Housing : Social Tenants / BTL & HB Problems / Shortages / Grenfell Tower Fallout

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
292 posts
Purely a headline this time ... today's Independent ... sinister implications ?

More than 1,000 'suspect' cladding samples refused testing by government, says Labour.

'Conservative dogma of hands-off delaying action to deal with national disaster,' says shadow housing secretary.

Speaks for itself ... the Grenfell Tower aftermath ... just how far will this extend ???

BILLIONS ... to merely remove and repair ALL suspect materials across the UK.

Safety standards / cost cutting ... already in the frame !

Monies ... bottom line yet again ... the price of minimising the risk to ... human beings ???
I should keep this thread open in a new window ... saves time in posting on it almost daily ?

Number of new social homes being built down 90% since Tories came to power in 2010.

Just 1,400 new social homes were built last year - down from almost 40,000 in 2010.

The number of social homes being built has fallen by almost 90 per cent since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, new official figures have revealed.

Just 1,409 of the lowest-cost homes were started in England in the 2017/18 financial year - down from 39,402 in 2009/10.

However, more social homes were built last year than the previous year after ministers responded to the Grenfell Tower disaster by promising new investment in low-cost housing.

The fall since 2010 comes after Conservative ministers decided to divert funding for social homes into more expensive types of property, namely "affordable" homes. These are rented out at up to 80 per cent of market value, whereas social rents are typically set at around 50 per cent of market rates.

At the same time as funding for new social housing has been reallocated to “affordable” housing, thousands of social homes have been converted into more expensive properties.

The Grenfell disaster forced ministers to rethink their approach, with Sajid Javid, then the communities secretary, admitting the Tories had "failed" on housing. The government has commissioned a review of the social housing sector, which is yet to report.

Labour said the latest figures showed the government was still not investing enough in social housing.

John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, said: “A year since Theresa May admitted that the Conservatives haven’t given enough attention to social housing, it’s clear ministers are still not building the homes the country needs.

“After eight years of failure on housing, the Conservatives should back Labour’s long-term plan for a million new genuinely affordable homes.”

It comes amid reports that Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, has warned his cabinet colleagues that the government’s NHS cash injection, announced this week, means there is no money left for investing in other areas – including housing.

Senior ministers were said to have been told they would not be receiving additional funding from the Treasury, despite growing calls for investment in areas such as housing.

Dominic Raab, the housing minister, said: “It’s good news to see affordable housing starts and completions rising.

“We are ambitious to do much more to build the homes Britain needs, and to make them more affordable for those on low and middle incomes.”

For any reader waiting to downsize , or reallocate in social housing , yet another kick in the teeth.

Rest assured , I'm aware of the hundreds of thousands of family carers currently trapped ... even if Carers UK are not ( Any question on housing in that last survey ? )

" Our survey did not reveal a problem ! "

" Perhaps asking the question would have been a good starter for ten ? "

" After all , how does one answer a question that has not been asked ??? "

Diarise forward a few hours before the next article is published , somewhere , directly relating to this thread.
Perhaps a comment I made to a friend , whilst playing football in a local park , some 50 odd years ago finally sinks home ?

" It's amazing what you can build with a meccano kit nowadays ? "

More than 200 homes on the Broadwater Farm estate in north London are at risk of catastrophic collapse and all the families are to be urgently moved out following tests carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Two residential blocks, which were completed in the early 1970s are among 11 buildings on the Tottenham estate that failed structural tests, are the most seriously affected and are likely to be demolished.

The tests uncovered serious structural failings, which make the homes vulnerable to collapse in the event a gas pipe or gas canister explodes or a vehicle strikes the base of the buildings. Tangmere House, a six-storey block, and Northholt, an 18-storey block, are those worst affected.

If a teenage boy could see the problem then ....

By contrast , most of the " 2 ups . 2 downs with outside privy " ... built 110 years ago , are still standing ... and are as robust as ever.

A few on the market .... £ 275 / 300,000 ... a real bargain ?
The BTL " WAR " now breaks out on another manor ... and , in not a very desirable manor to survive ... few actually live there !

http://www.greatyarmouthmercury.co.uk/n ... -1-5573769

Clampdown plan for rogue landlords meets stiff opposition.

Plans to introduce a clampdown on rogue and unethical landlords in Great Yarmouth have met stiff opposition from a landlord association.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council wants to set up a five year selective licensing scheme in the Nelson Ward to improve housing and social conditions for private sector tenants, while discouraging unethical landlords who exploit vulnerable people and have an unfair advantage over ethical landlords in the housing market.

However the plans, which have gone out to consultation and involve inspections, have been opposed by the Eastern Landlords Association, which has raised a wide range of objections to the scheme

Among the objections are extra costs being burdened by lawful and responsible landlords while what it calls ‘criminal operators’ will flout the rules.

The association says costs maybe passed onto tenants, landlords may seek to evict ‘challenging tenants’, tenants can refuse inspectors leading to punishments for landlords and there is little evidence that other licensing schemes improve housing.

The association’s response to the consultation also says a licensing area could have other outside detrimental impacts.

It says: “Defining areas of Great Yarmouth problem zones in the consultation will not encourage lending or investment into these areas. The stigmatisation will be reflected in property values within them.”

The association also says the council has sufficient powers to deal with the issue of rogue landlords, such as criminal behaviour orders and interim management orders.

It also says many of the problems are caused by mental health and drink issues and landlords need additional resources from the council to help tackle them.

However the association report adds: “We are willing to work in partnership with the council to develop tenant information packs, assured shorthold tenancies and accreditation of landlords, along with targeting the worst properties in a given area.”

Paul Cunningham, chairman of the Great Yarmouth branch of the association, said it would lead to the stigmatisation of the Nelson Ward and claimed it was a money making exercise for the council.

The licensing plan is set to be debated at a full council meeting in September.

The scheme, which the council says would only involve a relatively modest fee, is supported by the National Landlords Association.


Andy Grant, chairman of the council’s housing and neighbourhoods committee, said: “Selective licensing schemes elsewhere have proved successful, providing the additional resources to improve living conditions in challenged neighbourhoods with a high proportion of private sector housing.

“We would continue to work with partners to deliver the project, carrying out inspections to identify and work with sub-standard landlords and to enforce compliance, with financial penalties for those who break conditions.

“The scheme would link to the Neighbourhoods that Work Project to help vulnerable and disadvantaged tenants.

“There is no evidence ensuring good housing standards and property management through licensing would result in additional evictions – the scheme would empower vulnerable tenants who feel they can’t report concerns for fear of eviction.

“With issues related to the anti-social behaviour of tenants, we would work in partnership with Norfolk Constabulary, landlords and other partners.

“It would help to create a level playing field for ethical landlords and has the potential to increase rental income and property values.”

In a way , mirror images the situation here in Worksop ... I have attended a couple of meetings with local agents ... at their request ... for a " Balanced " view.

One recommendation was taken up by one local agent ... AST agreement ... available in other languages at the prospective tenant's request ... and , at NO charge ... albeit English expressions of commitments and terms are difficult for non English people to understand even on a straight translation !

Still , at least a few of my neighbours , and their friends , have appreciated my input ... explaining things in plain English ... well , London English ?

" Any problems ? Go see the FOG upstairs ! " ... FOG ... friendly old geezer / git ?

A plate with a few piping hot Polish white sausages , couple of slices of Polish bread ... and a drop of Polish hooch to wash it down ... most welcomed !

If buying a property abroad , would YOU be okay with ... say ... Spanish legal expressions and terms ???

Not all BTL landlords are rogues ... a small minority are , unfortunately.

The LA HAS sufficent powers to take action against them WITHOUT an all embrassing policy which covers all landlords.

Again , the bottom line is ... MONEY ... lack thereof to fund an " Enforcement " team ... weeding out those properties / landlords which fall foul of the Law.

Until that Enforcement team is in place , situations like the one described in the article will continue.
Just a headline , more of a political argument than a solution :

Buy-to-let landlords stop 2.2 million families becoming homeowners, report by Tory MP finds

Centre-right think tank says regaining ground on housing crucial to Conservatives winning next election

In essence , transfer across vast numbers of BTL properties to potential home owners ... landlords to be " Encouraged " to do so through more punative tax measures.

Home owners ?

Trend is to vote Tory ?

Sounds fine ?

No !

The problem is simply one of affordability based on the current level of residential property prices.

Many BTL properties are occupied by tenants who stand NO CHANCE of ever being granted a mortgage to purchase their own property.

If their current property is sold , where do they go ?

To another one ?

Now fewer out there as more are dumped on the market for sale.

Demand still high , supply dwindling ?

Basic economics ... the rents will rise !

What then ?

Social housing ... demand constantly exceeds supply ... probably into the 22nd. century.

BTL landlords are providing a lucrative supply of properties to be leased ... the Government is NOT !

Without them , what would happen ?
Interesting one ... just the bare bones headline ... " The Spanish Development Scam " ... SDS ... nice sounding buzz phrase ? ... now arrives in the UK :

Homebuyers lose their life savings on luxury flats that were never built as millions of pounds vanish and the plots lie derelict

Angelgate was part of a drive to bring high-end housing to cities in the North.

Some 320 buyers handed £33m to the company behind the development.

With such schemes you pay a deposit of up to 80% for an unbuilt property.

Construction was due to finish in 2016 but plot is an abandoned building site.

One I haven't used for a few months ?

Ground zero ... social housing ... and the North / South divide :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... rn-england

Northern areas far less likely to have access to funding for social housing.

Nine times more local authorities in the south are eligible for share of £500m Treasury fund.

Just 15% of local authorities in the north of England have been given access to new government funding to build council homes, compared with 88% of those in the south, excluding London.

The government announced on Tuesday which councils would be eligible to apply for a share of the £1.67bn in additional money for housing that was unveiled in last year’s autumn budget.

As part of the scheme, London - where housing policy is a devolved matter - will automatically be awarded £1.67bn to build new council houses. A further £1.67bn will be available for certain other locals authorities to bid for, including 91 out of 104 council areas in the south and only 11 out of 72 councils in the north of England.

There are 118,162 more people on council housing lists in the north of England than in the south outside London. There are currently 376,297 people waiting for social housing in the north of England – including the north-east, north-west and Yorkshire and the Humber – compared with 258,135 in the south-west and south-east. There are 243,668 people on waiting lists in London.

The list of local authorities eligible to apply for the money is based on a formula designed to determine which areas have the biggest housing shortage. The government defines areas of “high housing pressure” as those where there is a difference of £50 or more per week between average social and private rents.

The shadow housing secretary, John Healey, said ministers were turning a blind eye to housing need in the north of England. “All parts of the country want new affordable homes and all areas have long council waiting lists, but these figures show the north is being ignored by this Conservative government,” he said.

“Everyone knows someone who needs a decent, affordable home whether it’s young people who want to get a place of their own, or older people looking to downsize. Labour would let all councils, in all parts of the country, build again by fully lifting the government’s cap on council house building.”

Of the 165 local authorities deemed by the government to be areas of “high housing pressure”, the highest number – 63 – is in the south-east, where 150,352 are on council house waiting lists.

In comparison, only seven councils in the north-west have been invited to apply for the funds even though 180,780 people are on waiting lists for council houses in the region – the highest number of any area outside London.

Of the other areas of England eligible for the fund, 40 are in the east of England, 28 are in the south-west, 12 are in the west Midlands and 11 in the east Midlands.

Only three local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber – where there are 144,681 people waiting for council homes – have been permitted to apply for the money. Newcastle is the only local authority in the north-east England region to be listed.

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “We have been clear that we would provide extra borrowing in high-cost areas, which will ease the burden of rent on hard working families.”

“This funding is just one of a number of measures we are bringing forward to the deliver the homes this country needs, which includes the £9bn we are investing in affordable properties and our proposed new planning rules to ensure these.”

Difficult to argue against the " North's " priorities being treated on par with those in the " South. "

In many areas from Worksop heading north , lower paying jobs are all that's available and yet , most citizens frozen out of the housing market due to prices being 6 times or more the average income.

Please ... a level playing field ... or do you want the North to secede from the South ???
As a Southerner, brought up and living in south west Hampshire, I have seen house prices rocket, as improvements in road and rail links have made it more accessible from London. With the New Forest National Park in the middle, where new properties are generally not allowed, enormous pressure is placed on land surrounding the Park. Hard working qualified adults in the area cannot afford to buy a house locally. I would like to see councils allowed to build houses which are then made available to locals at reasonable cost. In this area, even a beach hut can cost more than £100,000!
This is then affecting the whole community, it's one of the most affluent areas outside London, and those people want cleaners, tradesmen, and of course nurses and carers as those who retire to the area get old and doddery, but they are in short supply. So much so that the local council has built a new tarmac footpath so that carers can catch the train from Southampton and then walk to the EMI home where they work!!
As a result, our area has a higher than expected level of homelessness and enormous numbers on housing waiting lists. Definitely a community of two halves.
... and that gap will continuing to escalate UNLESS a whole new approach is taken with " Housing. "

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon offered one solution back in 1840 ... would never be acceptable today.

And yet , the basis of his argument ... and the economic and social conditions at that time ... demanded a radical solution.

Still , you can all sleep comfortably in your beds tonight , there are no P-JPs around today ... although the various moped gangs are doing their very best to confiscate your property.

Hoods and plenty of Robin ... that's where the analogy falls down ?

Trouble is , the economic and social conditions prevailing in his day are being seen again in 2018.

Not to the same deprivation but ... we're heading there ... rapidly.

As posted before , this Issue is with us for a few generations yet !!!
Summary ?

House prices now out of reach for most earning less than ... say ... £ 15 per hour ... almost nationwide.

Alternatively , rent property from a BTL landlord ... in some cases , 50% or more of your take home pay.

Monies that could be used for a deposit on a home now being " Wasted " on rent.

Add student loan repayments for many into that mix.

Many prospective tenants now excluded if they are on benefits ... notably UC ... which will be nationwide within 2 years.

Social housing ?

Massive waiting lists nationwide for any properties ... many years long , more than a decade in some areas ... hardly any smaller ones for those needing to downsize due the Bedroom tax.

LHA remains static as social rents rise ... more tenants facing an ever increasing gap ... food bank thread relevant here.

Housing benefit bill ... growing out of control ... £ 30 BILLION projected by the end of this financial year.

Private sector house building ?

Private sector still building ... slowly ... end product both questionable for quality , and affordability for any earning less than £ 40,000 per annum.

Social housing building ?

Well documented in earlier threads , need to build 10 / 20 times as many per annum just to catch up within a decade !

Grenfell Tower fallout ?

BILLIONS probably needed to ensure ALL housing is safe !


House prices / BTL rents too high ?

2 in 5 mps have declared interests in BTL properties.

Measures needed to reduce both ?

Raising taxes just to build social houses ?

Those with monies and their own homes will , surely , object ?

Add on the NHS and social care ... all part of the big picture also needing monies !

Let's say ... as an opening figure across all ... £ 200 BILLION ??? ... per annum ???

Oops ! How remiss of me ... family carers ... we want a slice of that ???

Try winning a general election based on that !

And that folks , is what it's REALLY all about !!!
292 posts