The latest official Housing Benefit figures were published yesterday. As expected and despite DWP propaganda to the contrary and despite the LHA cap, benefit cap and bedroom tax all seeking to reduce the bill, the facts once again prove that housing benefit has increased in real terms.
It is now back over the £24 billion per year mark despite a fall of nearly 120,000 claimants in the past year and it is good news once again for housing associations, the main beneficiaries from housing benefit.
Who gets the money?
Housing Benefit of course goes to the landlords not to claimants and when we see which landlords get what we can clearly see the impact of the affordable (sic) rent model giving huge increases to housing associations.
Affordable (sic) Rent impact?
As the figures reveal the majority of housing benefit goes to housing associations who increased their HB take by 3.3% in the last year despite a maximum rent increase of 2.2% being at play. As there has been a negligible increase in HA claimants then the ONLY answer for this is the AR model which is not only unsustainable with the benefit cap, it portrays HA’s as money grabbers – a point already made by Osborne and yet again the HA’s fall into the government trap
Over this 5 year period the average housing benefit for the HA landlord has increased by 14% more than the HB received by a council landlord and again reveals the impact of the affordable (sic) rent model.
It again portrays them as money grabbers and the government will undoubtedly use that point and the Times. Spectator and Channel 4 pieces will be just the start of a campaign against HA’s to supplement they argument they are aspiration deniers with opposition to RTB2.
Done up like a kipper? Yes. But hey it’s easier than taking candy off a baby given HA’s complete apathy towards social housing promotion and their own reputation!
Housing Associations as largest HB recipients
Two years ago private landlords received 39% of the total HB bill and HA’s received 37% of it. That position has now changed around with 39% now received by housing associations and 37% by private landlords.
The graph also shows a reducing income for PRS landlords over the past 12 months which can only reveal that more of them are pulling out of the benefit tenant market altogether.
What is also significant is that in May 2010 the PRS landlords received on average 42.3% more in housing benefit than a HA landlord. By May 2015 this has fallen dramatically to 17.41% more being received by the PRS over the HA landlord in average housing benefit. Again the affordable (sic) rent model is an evident factor in this significant change.
One issue over the last year is really intriguing as the claimant count has dropped significantly with 74k less PRS claimants and 46k less council housing claimants yet an increase in those claiming in housing associations. Any housing people out there see IDS using that to say HAs are reducing EET services to their tenants? An easy point for IDS and government to make seeing as though the housing crisis is all HA’s fault according to them!
Despite all of these points being easily made I note David Orr says today that Homes for Britain was a massive success and he is optimistic for the future! Which planet is this buffoon on you have to ask as well as which side of bread he likes buttered. What gong is the modern day equivalent of 30 pieces of silver?
Housing Benefit to in-work claimants
A further increase in numbers with 12,000 more in-work claimants that now sees 1,103,100 in work at such low pay they qualify for housing benefit.
In May 2010 the cost of in-work HB was £2.9 billion per year. It is now £5.5 billion per year!
Housing Benefit subsidises low wage paying UK employers.
For every £1 per week paid out in dole we pay £1.50 per week to low pay UK employers
Note well that there is also a huge amount of housing benefit that goes unclaimed each year as the DWP admitted a few months ago that is at least £3.3 billion per year
The one issue that brings all the above together in one cohesive analysis is that the Conservative’s alleged reform of ‘welfare’ in the welfare reforms (sic) of bedroom tax, benefit cap, LHA cap which were all aimed at reducing Housing Benefit have all failed. They simply do not work.
All of the pain and misery and stress and unlawful practices (Nzolameso et al) they have seen in the homeless diaspora from London have not saved a penny. In fact they cost more and in real terms.
One last simple graph the latest official HB figures reveal and that is the change in the number of claimants between the inherited May 2010 position and 5 years of Conservative rule later in May 2015.
Inner London is the only HB region that has seen a fall in its claimant count.
The chart above says precisely what the Conservative HB policy sought and has achieved – the social cleansing of Inner London and how dare the plebs expect to live in prime real estate territory. Yet as I say above and have repeatedly said and what the IFS said back in March this has all cost MORE money to the taxpayer and the public purse and not saved a penny.
Yet the impact of all of this misery has only been on tenants or customers as HA landlords outrageously call them and HA’s have done very well out of the welfare reforms (sic) – at least until now – all that apathy, silence and forelock tugging to all the above impacts on THEIR customers (they always use the possessive pronoun don’t they!) you would think they deserve more than RTB2, 1% rent cuts and making all of their 3 bed properties financially toxic products due to the benefit cap.
Then again these private registered providers to give HAs their full correct name can and will evict and pass the problem on to local councils, aka the only SOCIAL landlords left, and as councils landlords can’t borrow to build and indeed this government is forcing them to sell off any property they have, is it any wonder that the social housing model is dead and buried.
This is the real Conservative policy aim and one they will achieve with the full complicity of the PRIVATE registered providers led by delusional buffoons.