Osborne changes: Bedroom Tax single people, mass evictions for disability CSR2 & closure of all women’s refuges

Osborne’s changes announced today will close all women’s DV refuges, will evict massive number of disabled people, will affect single people hit by bedroom tax even if not under occupying and will create the DISABLED ROUGH SLEEPER and the WOMAN FLEEING VIOLENCE AND ABUSE ROUGH SLEEPER who will have nowhere to live to escape sleeping rough as the hostels and permanent rehousing options will not be available to move them off the streets!

Read on and have the smelling salts to hand as you simply will not believe just how much of an incompetent fuckwit George Osborne is!

IF you are hit by the bedroom tax AND you are under 35 AND you have no dependant children living with you then you have just been evicted.

Note well that you have to be under 35 and single with no dependant children yet the impact of this is massive as I explain below.

csr-sarchange

The above is from the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) today and this is the sneakiest of sneaky changes and will create a new group previously unheard of in the DISABLED ROUGH SLEEPER.

Imagine you are unable to work through whatever medical, physical, learning or sensory disability you have and you live in a social housing 2 bed house in low rent Liverpool.  Your rent will be around £86 per week and you will be getting the 14% bedroom tax taken off you and so receiving £73.96 per week in housing benefit.

HOWEVER this change above means your maximum eligible rent for HB purposes will only be £57.77 per week which is the Shared Accommodation Rate or SAR for Liverpool.

You will receive £49.68 in housing benefit only and a reduction of £24.28 per week in your maximum HB as the maximum eligible rent before bedroom tax deductions is the SAR of £57.77 and no longer the £86.00 per week actual rent.

You will need to find £36.32 per week or £1,893.83 per year to top up your rent or £157.82 per calendar month!

Even if you move to the mythical 1 bed property with a rent of say £78.00 per week and avoid the pernicious bedroom tax, if you are single and under 35 you will only get £57.77 per week as the maximum Housing Benefit and still have to find £20.23 per week or £1054.85 per year or £87.90 per calendar month to pay your rent.

Note too the Shared Accommodation Rate does NOT hold a blank exemption for receipt of DLA or PIP or ESA and in the support group so if you are disabled under 35 and have no child dependants then your housing benefit will be cut.

Here is what Shelter correctly say about SAR exemptions

csr-sardisability exemptionSo if you receive DLA at low rate or you receive ESA and in the support group or  WRAG group or you do not receive the daily living component of PIP then the SAR does apply to you.  This change is going to affect a huge amount of bedroom tax households as we know from DWP’s own figures that 63% of bedroom tax households contain a disability.

You can see why Osborne has today created the DISABLED ROUGH SLEEPER and just how pernicious this policy change is.

My figures above reveal that this will see disabled single persons evicted in the lowest rent areas which of course means it will happen in all areas of the UK.

Lets not forget that in some low rent areas of the UK social rent is actually higher than private rent levels as the CIH stated this week in their pay MORE to stay (PMS) submission below and also not forgetting that the PMS policy which DOES affect the pensioner in England too!

rentsocialhigher rentthan private

Yet this policy which sets the maximum social housing rent for single people under 35 will also see DV refuges close!

I advised 17 refuges and developed their funding streams from 2001 to 2003 during the Transitional Housing Benefit System which became Supporting People.  The rents paid by housing benefit necessarily include the costs of staffing, fixtures and fittings and so much more – nobody flees domestic violence and abuse with a kitchen sink, beds, bedding etc strapped to their backs in very crude terms – and housing benefit pays for this.

YET evidence I have gathered from those admitted to refuges reveal that about 30% – 35% of women are single with no child dependants and so this SAR change means instead of the refuge receiving say £230 per week per person, if the women is under 35 and single they will receive about £80 per week as a national average – a reduction of £150 per week in the refuge income or £7,800 per year

So crunching some numbers – if a refuge has 12 rooms and each person stays 3 months they have 48 women accommodated in a year.  If 35% of these are single then the refuge lose 17 lots of £7,800 and its yearly income reduces by £33,150 and means that DV refuge closes as this is a 23.1% reduction in income.  It cannot mean anything else!

So now we see Osborne’s SAR changes creating another new client group in the FLEEING DOMESTIC ABUSE ROUGH SLEEPER!

In reality this means refuges will not be able to accommodate childless single women under 35 regardless of the fact they would never want to do this meaning in essence that “Sorry, you will have to stay where you are and have the shit kicked out of you!!”  Or ” By all means come back when you’re 35 providing you live that long!

The same principle of HB costs applies to all supported housing / supported living schemes so means that those with a learning disability or mental health condition whose rents include costs for staffing, white goods, furniture, etc, etc, etc and it can even include salt grit bins and lightning conductors as well as tea towels, cups and saucers etc etc…..will also close.  It will also include all single homeless hostels who could not possibly guarantee you can stay there for 3 months as how could HB departments possibly accept such a statement from hostel providers.

So the major route out of rough sleeping – homeless hostels – and probably the better route of the housing first option – are now not available because of this SAR change by the most incompetent fuckwit we have ever had as a chancellor.

George Osborne the man who killed supported housing

George Osborne the man who killed off DV refuge provision and whose policy here will DIRECTLY see more women dying of domestic violence and abuse

George Osborne the man whose policy here DIRECTLY evict disabled people from their homes

George Osborne the man whose policy here DIRECTLY increases rough sleeping ten fold or will it be a hundred fold?

George Osborne the…cupid stunt!

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31 thoughts on “Osborne changes: Bedroom Tax single people, mass evictions for disability CSR2 & closure of all women’s refuges

    1. It is raising issue like this that I see as a key purpose of the TCG (that I hope to start from January). Raising the issue that all DV refuge will INEVITABLY CLOSE is a sure fire way to make sure the regulations are amended. Each issue needs a campaign (eg disabled hit by reduced HB and cant afford to live even if downsize ) and so on for all issues. These issues here are just some of the issues raised from a cursory glance at the CSR – wait until I discover all of the issues as there will be dozens of them

      1. What about SMI? It was bad enough that it was paid at the average bank lending rate, so thousands had to find the difference between the bank’s average rate and the rate their lender charged. Now it seems that SMI will be made into a repayable loan.

  1. In some instances DV/A hostels are the difference between life and death in some instances. By making them non existent or inaccessible there is a very high risk that more deaths will occur; to me that is completely unacceptable.

      1. Yes from 2018 and NO HB change for SRS so far – bedroom tax, benefit cap etc – exempts existing tenants. Wording is ambiguous yet everything points to current under 35s being affected from 2018

      2. taken from teh transcript of the speech…………The rate of housing benefit in the social sector will be capped at the relevant local housing allowance—in other words, the same rate that is paid to those in the private rented sector who receive the same benefit. That will apply to new tenancies only. We will also stop paying housing benefit and pension credit payments to people who have left the country for more than a month. The welfare system should be fair to those who need it and fair to those who pay for it.

    1. It will affect existing tenants after 2018 and new from 2016 – so there won’t be any new tenancies from 2016 for under 35s. Also no welfare / HB reform to date has NOT be retrospective when it comes to social housing so it is highly probable that all existing ones after 2018 WILL be hit

      1. from the transcript of teh spending review speech……”This will apply to tenancies signed after 1 April 2016, with Housing Benefit entitlement changing from 1 April 2018 onwards”…………….. it will be for new tenancies signed from april 2016 but will not take effect on those new tenancies until april 2018 so they will have 2 yrs to try to do something to help themselves.

    1. Some of them Chris, yet far from all. The pensioner with Pay MORE to Stay, the under 35s with todays SAR announcement and many more. Yet much better if all social tenants supported every other one with their issue however rare a “one-legged Peruvian glue sniffer aged 24 on ESA awaiting a reassessment to see if they can get Pension Credit”…you get my point – 100% of tenants all 100% behind all tenant issues however rare

  2. cap the amount of rent that Housing Benefit will cover in the social sector to the relevant Local Housing Allowance, which is the rate paid to private renters on Housing Benefit. This will include the Shared Accommodation Rate for single claimants under 35 who do not have dependent children. This reform will mean that Housing Benefit will no longer fully subsidise families to live in social houses that many working families cannot afford, and will better align the rules in the private and social rented sectors. It will also ensure that Housing Benefit costs are better controlled and will help prevent social landlords from charging inflated rent for their properties. This will apply to tenancies signed after 1 April 2016, with Housing Benefit entitlement changing from 1 April 2018 onwards

  3. Alison – the CSR produces many documents. The main one is the “Blue Book” which runs to 154 pages and from where I took the specific quote in the post. Other overviews of the CSR are published including the 66 page one you quote from.

    In the more detailed Blue Book after saying the SAR changes will apply to social housing it goes on to say:

    “It will be effective from 1 April 2018, affecting all new tenancies from 1 April 2016.”

    That is wholly ambiguous as it could mean:

    (a) All existing tenants aged under 35 are not affected OR,
    (b) They only become affected after 1 April 2018.

    So, either of us could be right. HOWEVER, we cannot take the chance that existing tenants now will never be affected. Further to this all HB reforms to date in social housing have been retrospective or include existing tenants of which the bedroom tax is a classic example.

    At the time of writing this comment this post has had more views than the average daily circulation f the Independent newspaper which in blogging terms is a crazy amount and all in about 5 hours. One of the main purposes of this post and an integral part of the Tenant Campaign Group (TGC) I am setting up will be to raise awareness of such matters and in doing so get them changed or stopped. I don’t think even Osborne is that stupid to deliberately implement policy that will close DV refuges and I am just as sure that a campaign to stop this applying will succeed just as the Police numbers did today and the Tax Credits issue did in part today.

    Aside from stating the bloody obvious today has shown that public campaigns DO and CAN work so for all these reasons our difference of opinion her is very much secondary to ensuing this policy exempts ALL supported housing services and a separate issue is to campaign on the disability issues too. The fact the issue is out there and getting consideration is positive and needs to be continued

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  5. So do these rules apply if you are over 35, single, with no dependant children and you live alone? For example, I am 52. When all is said and done, however, whichever way you look at this, this is horrific and will cause untold poverty and deaths among our people.

    1. Not usually an issue in PRS as the et and gross rent often the same. I suspect (strongly) it will apply to the net rent only and any HB eligible service charges will be paid on top of the base SAR HB income

  6. People waiting for social housing (council) are being railroaded into accepting shared ownership scheme housing (private sector) and therefore because you will be growing equity (minescule) by living in “your own home” all the local authority benefit rates (rent & council tax) will leave you to make up the difference out of your JSA (the money the law says you need to live on) if you are unemployed. After 4 years unemployment each my brother (council) owes nothing whereas I (25% shared ownership) owe more than £2000 in rent & council tax. This measure will level the playing field but lead to more evictions for council tenants for certain.

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