The Tory controlled London Borough of Barnet are proposing to make all new council house rents AR -the affordable (sic) rent model – or in simple terms the NO JOB NO COUNCIL HOUSE model
Yes if you are a new tenant of LB Barnet’s ALMO Barnet Homes and on national averages that means about 1070 new households per year you better have a job and not lose it else you will lose your house. Even if you lose it temporarily or your zero hours contract becomes just that for a short while you will lose your house as you will be evicted.
Barnet is cleansing the borough of those on welfare benefits and those will insecure employment and this is from COUNCIL HOUSING.
This is the beginning of the end for what we call social housing.
The fact this will cost LB Barnet far more in hugely increased costs of homelessness and temporary accommodation has clearly not gone through the minds in this ill-conceived POLITICAL nonsense from the burghers in charge of Tory controlled Barnet.
How it works
LB Barnet are proposing to make all new tenancies AR tenancies and this means a 2 bed council property will have a rent of £245 per week and a 3 bed have a rent of £300 per week. Those rent figures are courtesy of Colin Wiles in an article in Inside Housing here yet the normally reliable Colin just doesn’t get what this means. The table below shows in vivid detail what it means
Note the table above has two consequences to represent the overall benefit cap figure staying at £26k pa or £500 per week and if it reduces to £23k pa or £440 per week as this coalition are proposing. For the sake of clarity lets assume the cap figure stays at £500 per week.
The table has in its left hand column household sizes and read from left to right the 1 person 1 child household (1p1c) receives £155 per week in welfare benefits and child tax credits (or UC equivalent) which means they have a maximum HB that can be paid of £345, what’s left of the £500 pw cap. As Barnets 2 bed rent will be £245 per week this small household is not affected by this plan
Yet move down the table to the 2 parent 2 child household (2p2c) who receive £262 per week in welfare benefits and child tax credits and living in a 3 bed Barnet Council house with a rent of £300 per week. The maximum they will get in HB is £238 per week and will need to pay £62 per week out of their benefits to pay the rent or £266.99 per calendar month as the table shows. In other words they will be evicted for rent arrears as Barnet expects them to make up their COUNCIL HOUSE rent with £3,200 per year from their subsistence level benefits.
IF the benefit cap reduces to £23k pa or £440 pw then the monthly shortfall is £526.76 per calendar month as shown in the table or £6,320 per year out of subsistence level welfare benefit towards rent!
Of course this also applies to any household in which the wage earner is on a zero hours contract, insecure employment of all kinds or if they get knocked over by a bus and can’t work. Let’s not go down the route of in receipt of benefit equals White Dee
Of course this also means that any household larger than a couple with 2 children is also in an even worse position.
WHAT IT MEANS IS NO JOB NO HOUSE
WHAT IT MEANS IS SOCIALLY CLEANSING BARNET OF THE ‘BENEFIT TENANT’
WHAT IT MEANS IS SOCIAL HOUSING IS DEAD
If one misguided council landlord does this then many others will and before you know it social housing is dead.
This is what the coalitions fundamentally misnamed affordable (sic, sic, fucking sic) rent model is in practise. It is Affordable Rent Social Engineering too or ARSE for short.
Go back to the table and look at the 2p1c household, the couple with one child. They, assmign the benefit cap remains at £500pw are safe and can afford a 2 bed property in Barnet and Barnet can afford to have them as tenants too as they present no great financial risk of arrears. Or do they??
Mum discovers she is pregnant and by accident (hardly an unusual or atypical circumstance) and so that 2p1c household becomes a 2p2c household. Which means this household with a new mouth to feed instead of having to pay nothing towards the rent now has to pay £3,200 per year from benefits just to keep the roof over their heads. The Pope, the Chinese Government and even Mengele would be proud of such a policy! God forbid what happens if then the benefit cap does reduce to £440 per week or if there is a large Catholic population in Barnet!
I’ll stop there before I launch into a tirade about Tory councillors 40 miles to the political right of Genghis Khan and berate the housing ‘sector’ and the housing media for failing to see what this really is – the death of the social housing model and a societal acceptance of work you lazy bastard or you are on the streets.
How ironic though this comes in the same week that there are more HB claimants in work than HB claimants who are unemployed. The facts go one way while despotic Tory controlled local government goes 100 miles in the other direction with a plan to kill social housing and cleanse its borough of the plebs!
Tory controlled LB Barnet has an ALMO – still council housing before anyone chirps up and attempts to deflect attention away from the real issues above