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Government urged to invest in housing benefit so it 'reflects real costs of renting'

Three-quarters of people across the UK believe housing benefit should increase in line with rents to help combat homelessness, new research shows. 

The latest data from the National Housing Federation (NHF shows that families who currently receive housing benefit cannot afford to rent 94%  of properties in England after the benefits freeze came into place. 

Many low-income families are struggling, with those on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) only able to afford 7.5% of the 75,000 private rental adverts analysed, the Federation said. 


The LHA allowance was frozen for four years in 2016 as part of the government’s austerity programme. 

It comes as a new opinion poll, published today, shows overwhelming support from three-quarters (75%) of respondents who agree that housing benefit should increase if rents go up.

Crisis and The Joseph Rowntree Foundation commissioned Public First to conduct a survey of more than 4,000 people in the UK, which also showed that 76% of people think that housing benefit is a practical way for the government to stop people experiencing homelessness in the first place.

In 2011, housing benefit was set so people on low incomes could afford the cheapest 30% of private rentals in their area. 

But following a four-year freeze, the rates now fall significantly short of the true cost of renting, which continues to increase in many parts of the country. 

Jon Sparkes, chief executive at Crisis, said: “A safe and stable home is fundamental to our dignity and humanity. But every day, we hear of people losing their homes as the constant pressure of rising living costs become impossible to bear.

“The Westminster government has committed to reduce homelessness, but without addressing the root causes such as unaffordable rents, homelessness will continue to rise. 

“Housing benefit is an important tool and could be the quickest and most effective way to prevent homelessness in the short term, but it is fundamentally flawed because of severe under investment. Ending homelessness is truly within our capabilities and government must act now to deliver on its promises.”

Darren Baxter, housing policy and partnerships manager at The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, added: “A home should be an anchor against being swept into poverty but for many families the cost of renting a home is adding an extra strain.

“It does not have to be this way. We can ensure housing costs do not push households into poverty if we invest in building the low cost rented homes and, in the short term, invest in housing benefit so that it reflects the real costs of renting.”

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    While bring HB up to current rent levels may help the situation I for one would still not take tenants on HB.


    No I agree Andrew, It would just be extra money for a larger Sky package and extra Holiday.

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    The real solution is more local authority housing so hard working private tenants paying their own way don't need to live alongside feckless benefit claimants and private landlords don't need to risk renting to them.


    no--stop housing immigrants. 10 years of documented work and paying real level of taxes before going on waiting list--lots from eu are in subsidized housing=madness

    and millions more on the way from china--most will be scroungers

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    • 01 July 2020 16:27 PM

    Social housing is all very well but the problem with it where available is that it always goes to those deemed to be in the greatest need.

    This means the chances of a single white male achieving social housing is precisely ZERO.

    It is illegal immigrants that are given such social housing.
    Social housing should be based on the queue not on alleged need.

    That would mean new entrants to the country would be way down the list and would have to use the PRS wherever available.
    I would also remove the 400000 EU migrants that are currently occupying social housing.

    They should be using the PRS which would leave the 400000 social housing properties available for sole British Nationality citizens.

    The Council House Waiting List needs to return.
    This will inevitably mean that few new entrants would ever achieve social housing with so many British Nationals wanting such social housing
    That is as it should be.

    The whole point of the OBC was to enforce on feckless welfare scroungers the same cost considerations as normal working people.

    Gratifyingly this has forced many of these feckless welfare scroungers out of expensive areas where HB would previously pay in HB whatever the rent was.

    Enforcing an effective maximum Welfare Wage was ENTIRELY appropriate.

    This by the way doesn't include any Council Tax assistance.
    So that means the maximum Welfare Wage is actually far more than the OBC.

    There is also very little mention that the OBC may be easily avoided by the feckless Welfare scroungers.

    All such a scrounger has to do is do an alleged 16hrs of work per week.
    This then facilitates UNLIMITED WELFARE.

    This is why 90% of Big Issue sellers are Romanian Gypsies.
    All they have to do is stand on a street 2 days a week for 8 hrs each and then COMPLETELY UNLIMITED WELFARE awaits them and their very extended families.

    So the feckless welfare scrounger can avoid being economically cleansed from expensive areas.
    They just REFUSE to do so because they are FECKLESS.

    As such these feckless are forced by the correctly applied OBC to MOVE to cheaper areas.

    Just because you are on welfare DOESN'T give you the right to reside in expensive areas.
    Personally I would reduce the OBC including Council Tax benefit to the income someone on minimum wage would achieve on a 42 hr working week.

    It CANNOT be right that a worker struggling on a minimum wage for 42 hrs per week is far worse off than a welfare scrounger who achieves a far superior lifestyle without needing to do any work.

    It should NOT be the case that LL are able to charge market rents and expect the taxpayer to pay such enormous amounts of HB in expensive areas.

    Welfare scroungers should be subject to the market just as those not on welfare are subject to.

    There are hundreds of thousands of properties available for welfare scroungers; just NOT in expensive areas.
    There needs to be a massive economic cleansing of welfare scroungers to cheaper areas of the UK.

    These are the circumstances that normal workers are subject to.
    I do NOT support HB being increased nor the OBC being lifted to enable the feckless to afford market rents in expensive areas.

    The OBC is more than adequate if the HB tenants MOVE to areas where the OBC will afford rental properties in those areas.

    There seems to be an acceptance by some LL that the OBC should be lifted to enable affording of their market rents.

    That concept I fundamentally object to.
    For every property that a LL provides for a feckless welfare scrounger means one fewer for a hard workin tenant.

    LL should NOT be facilitating the housing of feckless welfare scroungers because they can achieve income as the OBC is lifted to enable LL to receive market rents.

    If markets rents are able to be paid within the OBC then fair enough.
    Inevitably though this will be in cheaper areas.

    Having said that I personally still wouldn't take on HB tenants because of the dysfunctional HB system.
    I would NEVER accept direct payment as long as the 'clawback' policy exists.

    We also have the ridiculous situation where the HB element of UC is the last payment calculated within the OBC.

    This gives the impression to thick welfare scroungers that this is all they have to pay.
    The idea that they may have to use any of their other benefits to pay the agreed contractual rent doesn't even enter their tiny minds.

    Because of course this is what the intention of the OBC was.
    To enforce domestic financial rigour on Welfare scroungers.

    There is an issue as well that LL receiving HB are being subsidised by the taxpayer.
    We all know this is a ludicrous idea but the vile propaganda spewed out by the vile left continues.
    To avoid such propaganda LL should endeavour to NOT let to HB tenants.

    These tenants should be housed by councils.
    It is NOT the responsibility of the PRS to house those on HB.
    LL seek PROFIT which is NOT a requirement for the social housing sector.

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    some evidence that rtb in social sector is being used to fund terrorism

    • 01 July 2020 17:16 PM

    Welfare has for fact funded terrorism.
    We all know which lot were funded!

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    • 01 July 2020 17:31 PM

    Why on earth do people who need housing get any allowance from any government.
    Historically you had to pay for your own housing and not get it paid a 3rd party.

    Housing is YOUR responsibility, not to be contributed by a government or your neighbour the tax payer!!!!


    pols buying votes with our money

    its called welfarism and sucks the trash of the 3rd world here and leaves our bibs with an excuse not to work


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