5 years ago and shortly after 9 am on Monday 10 October 2011 the Tories knew the disastrous impacts of their policy proposal of capping housing benefit for supported housing at the maximum local housing allowance (LHA) rate.
Just a small issue people as this Tory policy will close ALL hostels, ALL DV refuges and the vast majority of sheltered housing. Sorry I’m digressing again (slaps own wrists) …
That Monday 10 October 2011 was the first day after the deadline passed for responses to the Tories consultation paper of July 2011 and the DWP staff would have been reading what the experts – the providers of supported housing – had said in response to their plans to limit housing benefit in sheltered housing in homeless hostels and DV refuges to three options:
(a) the LHA maxima or
(b) the LHA maxima plus £20 per week or
(c) the LHA maxima plus £40 per week.
Very quickly the DWP staff would have informed Lord Freud who then, like now, is a minister of state at the DWP. So when the current Tory government say they do not know what the impacts of limiting housing benefit to sheltered housing schemes or to hostels or to refuges or to any other form of supported housing they are LYING.
They have known about this for 5 years and very clearly so has Lord Freud. Back in 2011, five years ago the consultation responses were so damning as to what the consequences of the LHA maxima cap proposals were that the government did not even release them or any form of consultation response at all. Instead they quietly dropped the LHA maxima cap proposals because they realised that the impacts of this totally ideological idea would be the closure of all hostels, all refuges and much of sheltered housing.
What in God’s name then possessed the Conservatives to revise this ideological bullshit AND limit it to the worst LHA maxima cap option from 5 years before of the LHA maxima cap only AND make it policy God only knows!
No government of any persuasion can risk the political sensitivities of older persons or women fleeing domestic violence and abuse yet that is what this idiotic government is doing and its LHA maxima cap means that all refuges will close and so will all homeless hostels and so will most of older persons housing.
The DWP has known these inevitable consequences for FIVE YEARS.
Lord Freud who now gets to prevaricate with sophistry at every turn over the current LHA maxima cap policy with delay upon delay and deflection upon deflection time after time knows the LHA maxima cap policy WILL close all hostels and refuges and most of sheltered housing and he has known this for FIVE YEARS yet he continues to bullshit his way through any questions about the policy.
Just how hollow is the Tory claim they are waiting for a report on the impact to all forms of supported and sheltered housing when they have known the INEVITABLE consequences for FIVE YEARS?
Rather than draft much more valid argument and discussion over this hugely significant issue of the known death of supported housing this policy will create and inevitably so and a death that has been known for FIVE YEARS for now I will leave the facts about the Conservatives incompetence and deceit there.
I will also ask a simple question of supported housing providers and the housing umbrella bodies of CIH, NHF, SITRA and the rest and leave it with you:
You all know government knew the impacts FIVE YEARS ago so why haven’t you said this as part of your challenge to the LHA maxima cap?
Instead of incredibly risky and alleged loophole proposals that government could change at a stroke mentioned in Inside Housing today and instead of tired old startsathome human interest story campaigns that nobody outside of housing will read and instead of Housing CEO upon Housing CEO issuing blog upon blog of vague wishy washy nonsense about how housing saves health and social care, which it undoubtedly does yet nobody ever reads, and instead of bemoaning why housing is sometimes not even at the table or that what you term health, housing and social care everybody else that matters simply calls it health and social care and excludes housing …
Why do you simply not say and to the general public that the LHA maxima cap means:
- Women will have nowhere to flee domestic violence and abuse to – so many more women will die than the 2 per week that do currently
- Your parents at the first sign of needing support will have to go into care as there is no other option as sheltered housing is no more – and probably have to sell the family home to pay for it
- Oh and by the way everyone will see a five or perhaps ten fold increase in people sleeping on the streets and in hedgerows and everywhere else because there is no hostel or other homeless provision any longer
That is what the LHA maxima cap means. That is what you know housing people. That is what you told Lord Freud and the DWP five years ago. That is what you know the government and same DWP personnel then as now have known for five years
A set of very simple messages the public will understand and force government to back down on this ludicrous and dangerous ideological course post haste; yet it seems such a bloody obvious simple solution is way above your conceited omniscient Housing Think mentality.
Social landlord you say? Social! You are seriously taking the urine!
The 2011 Consultation can be found at the link here for those who think it must be some fabricated delusion of mine and that the ‘great and the good’ of housing couldn’t surely miss the biggest open fucking goal presented to them on a silver platter that they are not using!