Seaside town decline and private landlord properties – a quick but clear correlation

Just a quick post.  Discussion going on tonight on twitter regarding seaside towns and with regard it seems to a Daily Telegraph article on why are our once great British seaside towns run down etc.

There is a simple reason for this and that is the proportion of privately rented properties as a proportion of all rented properties claiming housing benefit.  Below is a table which illustrates the high numbers of PRS HB/LHA claimants taken from the latest official HB statistics.

Nationally 67% of HB claimants are social tenants and so 33% are private sector tenants and the table below (quickly cut and pasted so ignore the presentation) is all 34 council areas with greater than 50% of their housing benefit claimants being in private rented properties.

The overall point being to renew or reinvigorate towns and cities ordinarily takes the form of Housing Market Renewal and Regeneration schemes which are much easier to get underway and developed IF the majority of tenants are social tenants.  Yet much much harder and much more complicated to do if the majority of local tenants rent privately.

So have a look below at the table and see just how many are seaside towns. It is a huge correlation.

Table – Highest proportion of private tenants claiming housing benefit

Blackpool UA

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72.53%

Torbay UA

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70.46%

Tendring

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64.38%

Castle Point

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64.35%

Bournemouth UA

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64.22%

Fylde

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61.85%

Thanet

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61.50%

Wyre

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59.80%

Southend-on-Sea UA

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59.65%

Hastings

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59.04%

Torridge

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58.95%

Merton

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58.73%

Harrow

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58.15%

Shepway

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57.12%

Eastbourne

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56.36%

Arun

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54.81%

Pendle

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54.66%

Lancaster

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54.14%

Enfield

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53.95%

Hyndburn

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53.48%

East Lindsey

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53.40%

North Devon

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53.37%

Redbridge

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53.26%

Barnet

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52.83%

North Somerset UA

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52.62%

Isle of Wight UA

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52.43%

Teignbridge

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52.29%

Burnley

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52.12%

Worthing

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51.98%

Weymouth and Portland

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51.54%

Scarborough

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51.16%

North East Lincolnshire UA

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50.99%

Denbighshire / Sir Ddinbych

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50.92%

Barrow-in-Furness

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50.55%

Take out the odd London borough and the odd anomaly such as Burnley or Worthing and much of the rest are seaside towns.

Now imagine you are the officer at the council charged with developing the housing strategy.  Is it easier to do in Blackpool or in Welwyn which is the other extreme with just 11% privately rented properties and 89% socially rented on housing benefit?

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