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Carers UK Forum • Housing : Social Tenants / BTL & HB Problems / Shortages / Grenfell Tower Fallout - Page 15
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Re: Housing : Social Tenants / BTL & HB Problems / Shortages / Grenfell Tower Fallout

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:48 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Today's Independent ... a headline and one comment from the section at the bottom :

Theresa May announces new £2bn fund for building low-cost homes.

Far too little, far too late. The myth of building 'affordable homes' has been exposed as a nonsense and a completely out of touch government has suddenly decided to notice social housing after years of deliberate neglect. Appalling cynicism from a negative and churlish government.

There you have it ... in a nutshell !

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

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:39 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Ground zero ... Rugby , Warwickshire ... and ... at last ... some common sense ?

Tower blocks to be demolished over safety concerns

Two tower blocks in Rugby, housing more than 100 people, are to be demolished because of fire safety concerns.

In April, 155 people who live in the flats in Biart Place, Rugby,were told to leave by the council after a survey queried fire resistance capability.

The tower blocks are "beyond economic repair", said the borough council, with repairs expected to cost £20m, compared with a replacement cost of about £23m.

Further structural surveys are also to be carried out to blocks at Rounds Gardens which, a report says, are of better construction than those at Biart Place.

The council will be approaching the government "for their support to mitigate this impact," said council leader Michael Stokes.

Two down , only a few hundred to go ?

Cities in the sky ...

Rest assured ... no resident will mourn the last of these vertical prisons.

Heartless . soulless and ... dangerous.

" We're short of prisons , house prisoners in 'em ! "

Can't do that , every do-gooder in the country would be up in arms !

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

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:59 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
So much for a quieter evening .... freah off the presses ... Guardian article :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... sal-credit

Housing crisis drives more than 1m private tenants deeper into poverty.

Lack of social housing and rise in universal credit sanctions hit low-income families hardest, report warns

More than a million vulnerable people on low incomes are being driven deeper into poverty after being shunted into the private rental sector due to an acute shortage of social accommodation.

A report commissioned by the Nationwide Foundation, an independent charity, says that the shortfall in social housing has been met by a doubling in size of the private rented sector in the past 25 years.

But this has forced more households, many on benefits with dependent children or a disabled family member, to pay significantly more for unsuitable housing.

The shake-up of the benefits system – which has led to sanctions being imposed on people claiming universal credit who fail to attend meetings with job advisers or decline to participate in employment schemes – has had a dramatic effect on the attitudes of private landlords.

“Because of sanctions you’re more likely to fall into arrears and to be asked to leave because you are in arrears,” said the author of the report, Dr Julie Rugg, of the University of York’s centre for housing policy. She has spent 20 years studying the benefits system and its relationship with the housing sector.

“The welfare system change has created vulnerability,” Rugg said. “It didn’t used to be the case 10 years ago but it is now. People know the benefits system is tightening up but they might not realise that if you’re at the bottom end and receiving benefits then your situation can be pretty precarious indeed.”

Rugg’s report found that more than a third (38%) of the private rented sector now comprises low-income households who are classed as vulnerable.

And almost nine out of 10 of these – equivalent to 1.4 million households – are living either in poverty or in poor or overcrowded conditions.

The shortage of social housing stock means private landlords can charge more than housing associations, often for inferior accommodation.

“Generally speaking, people are paying an extra £25 a week because they are living in the private rented sector,” Rugg said. “It might not sound a lot but if your benefit income is £75 a week, £25 is quite a big chunk of money.

“We know from talking to people on benefits that after paying their tax and utilities and rent they might be looking at £30 a week to live on. If they are paying an extra £25 a week as a result of living in the private rented sector then that’s actually creating a level of destitution that’s quite frightening.”

Last week Theresa May announced £2bn to build new “affordable” homes in England. Under the plan, housing associations, councils and other organisations will be able to bid for the money to spend on new projects, starting from 2022.

But Leigh Pearce, chief executive of the Nationwide Foundation, said that the government needed to examine the role of the private rented sector, too.

“We need a fundamental rethink about who private renting is for and a comprehensive strategy to ensure it is fit for purpose, to ensure that everyone in this country has a home they can thrive in.

“This includes addressing the really important question about what is expected of the private rented sector, including who it can and should provide homes for, and how it sits alongside other housing tenures.”

The squeeze continues ... for some , Canvas City awaits as the population on many manors swells.

The BTL market is here to stay ... for a very LONG while.

Through HB , the landlords are cleaning up ... at the expense of the tenants.

One issue which will survive me ... and probably the next generation as well.

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

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:12 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Now we're getting down to the real nitty gritty :

Grenfell Inquiry: No-one should have lived there, says fire chief.

The spread of fire inside Grenfell Tower was so horrendous that no-one should ever have been allowed to live there, a fire chief has said.

Now in the Guardian :

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... ls-inquiry

Should be argued that NO tower block can be considered " Safe " ... how high up do modern fire appliances reach ?

Nobody ever watch " The Towering Inferno " decades ago ?

Less abled and possibly their carer / the elderly ... still housed above the third floor ?

More questions that answers ... answers that will appease the questions ?

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

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:01 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Sanity / common sense at last ... after fifteen months !
Grenfell survivors welcome outright ban on combustible cladding.

Move comes as survivors of fire prepare to give evidence to public inquiry for first time.

Survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire have welcomed an outright ban on the use of combustible cladding materials 15 months after the disaster, saying it is “the first signal we are being heard” by ministers.

James Brokenshire, the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, is expected to announce on Monday that the kind of panels and insulation that burned so ferociously on 14 June 2017, killing at least 72 people, will no longer be allowed under building regulations.

Plastics, wood and products that include combustible materials such as aluminium composite panels will be banned in the external wall systems used in residential buildings more than 18 metres tall, as signalled by ministers earlier this summer. The only materials that will be allowed are those classed as A1 or A2, which includes materials such as metal, stone and glass, which seldom contribute to fires; or plasterboard, which makes no significant contribution.

Now to resolve the question of replacing existing cladding ... ?

Slightly more difficult as someone has to pay ... question is ... who ?

Perhaps those who authorised it's installation ?

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

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:35 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Grenfell Tower: New cladding ban " Still allows flammable panels ", firefighters warn.

Oh well , for many , more restless nights ?

Akin to saying that bald tyres are liable to cause accidents ... but we won't ban them outright ?

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

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:31 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Now The Eye enters the stage ... and steals the show ?


Snakes & Cladders.

Fire safety, Issue 1480

LATEST to join the Eye’s list of shameful wealthy property owners and developers who are dumping the cost of making their Grenfell-like buildings safe on to hapless leaseholders, are David and Patrick Kennedy.

They are behind a number of offshore property companies and are current owners of Victoria Wharf - two blocks in London’s East End and home to 87 flat-owners and families.

Since those blocks were found to be wrapped in highly flammable ACM cladding, the residents have so far been forced to share bills of £165,000 (and rising) for fire wardens, the recent installation of a wireless alarm system and engineer/surveyor costs. The only good news is that the new alarm system means they now only have to pick up the bill for one 24-hour warden, instead of three.

Multi-million-pound costs of re-cladding

The bad news is that down the line they will be forced to share in the multi-million-pound costs of re-cladding and possibly new insulation – unless there is a change of heart by the owners. So far, however, there is no indication that the current freeholder, Jersey-based Vuillard Holdings Ltd (one of the Kennedy family off-shore enterprises), is prepared to “do the decent thing” and pick up any bills.

As Eye readers are aware, so far around 300 privately owned blocks have been found to be clad in what the Grenfell inquiry was told was a product “more flammable than petrol”. Ministers have repeatedly urged developers and owners to do the morally correct thing and pay to put right the construction blunders on their own buildings.

But a series of tribunal rulings has allowed ruthless operators like Aussie giant Lendlease and others to pass the bills on to those least able to pay, because clauses in most standard leases say flat-owners are liable for goods and services considered to be “for the general benefit of the apartments”.

This means that like other leaseholders around the country, they are now effectively trapped in unsafe buildings, unable to sell and facing rising bills that most can ill afford.

The Eye tried to contact the Kennedy family via one of their UK-registered companies, Formation Group Plc, to ask why they were not prepared to pay. Reply came there none.

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

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:11 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
Developers inflate leasehold house prices while Government fiddles over ban.

Investment manager James Newbery said: "Britain’s first-time buyers are already hampered by a chronic lack of housing stock, so for property vultures to take advantage is unforgivable.

"Help To Buy is probably partly to blame, with developers leaping to milk these taxpayer subsidised loans for all they’re worth. They simply jack up the prices of existing stock – knowing buyers facing stiff competition are capable of paying more."

The Right to Buy ?

The Right to print money ... for some ?

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

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:27 pm
by Chris From The Gulag
The Grenfell Tower aftermatch ... it just gets better and better ?

" 'Huge concentrations " of toxins found in Grenfell soil, study finds.

Exclusive : Public Health England has not acted on early findings of report warning of potential carcinogens.

Toxins that could have long-term health implications for the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire and thousands of people who live nearby have been identified by one of the world’s leading toxicology experts, the Guardian can reveal.

Early results of the study by Prof Anna Stec prompted her to privately urge Public Health England (PHE), the Department of Health, the police and Kensington and Chelsea council to organise a range of tests to ensure any potential health risks can be properly assessed.

In briefings to senior health agency staff, Stec said she had found “huge concentrations” of potential carcinogens in the dust and soil around the tower in west London, and in burned debris that had fallen from the tower.

High levels of hydrogen cyanide were also present in the soil she analysed.

Stec says health authorities should consider taking samples of blood and saliva from survivors, firefighters and local residents to monitor any damage to their DNA.

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

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:51 am
by Chris From The Gulag
As posted earlier , landlords ARE refusing to house benefit tenants ... spreading with the UC rollout :

Landlords issue stark warning over universal credit as two thirds see tenants fall into debt.

Claimants in debt owed around £2,400 in rent payments, according to survey of private landlords.

Almost two thirds of private landlords have seen tenants receiving universal credit fall into rent arrears, new research shows, amid growing concern the new benefit system is pushing people into poverty.

A survey by the Residential Landlord Association (RLA) found 61 per cent of landlords had universal credit tenants who were struggling to pay their rent, compared to 38 per cent last year and 27 per cent in 2016.

Claimants owed almost £2,400 in rent payments, an increase of nearly 50 per cent on the previous year, where the figure was around £1,600, the RLA said.

It comes as the government faced a backlash over the flagship welfare reform, which rolls six working-age benefits into a single payment, prompting warnings from two former prime ministers it could usher in problems similar to the poll tax riots under Margaret Thatcher.

Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, also admitted some people “could be worse off” when they switch over to the benefit, only a day after Theresa May promised that claimants would not lose out.

The RLA called for an urgent overhaul of how universal credit is paid, as more than half of landlords applied for the benefit to be paid to them instead of the tenant, which, on average, took more than two months to arrange.

David Smith, RLA policy director, said: “Our research shows clearly that further changes are urgently needed to universal credit.

“We welcome the constructive engagement we have had with the government over these issues but more work is needed to give landlords the confidence they need to rent to those on universal credit.

“The impact of the announcements from the autumn budget last year remain to be seen. However, we feel a major start would be to give tenants the right to choose to have payments paid directly to their landlord.”

As well as meaning claimants could get into debt, the system could also dissuade private landlords from taking on universal credit tenants.

A fifth of landlords also reported that their mortgage lender prevented them from renting homes to tenants in receipt of benefits.

Housing federations have previously warned that 73 per cent of social housing tenants claiming universal credit were in £24m of rent arrears, compared with less than a third (29 per cent) of other tenants.

Former Tory prime minister Sir John Major has called for a rethink on the benefit overhaul, while Labour ex-prime minister Gordon Brown warned it could cause “poll tax-style chaos”.

Theresa May is also facing backbench anger ahead of a key vote on universal credit next month, as rising Tory star Johnny Mercer, Iain Duncan Smith and Nigel Mills all openly calling for big changes to the reforms.

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson said: “We have already made significant improvements to universal credit (UC) including providing two weeks’ extra housing support for people moving onto UC from housing benefit, as well as removing the seven waiting days and making 100 per cent advances available.

“And as the RLA recognises, the impact of these changes is still to be felt.

“Direct payments are not new to UC and housing benefit has been paid directly to claimants in the private rented sector since 2008.

“With UC, housing costs can be paid directly to landlords if requested and we have already made a number of changes to improve this process.

“We are working closely with the RLA, considering their research carefully, and further improvements are planned to make Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs) to landlords easier, faster and more secure.”

Social care is in crisis ... so is housing for all non home owners.

Both carers and their carees under threat.

It will take an ALLIANCE across the whole supporting circus to take this one on !!!