One in four new tenancies given by housing associations is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) – the same no-fault eviction form of tenure used by private landlords.
Yet according to all forms of the media it is just the nasty private landlord who uses the no-fault eviction AST tenure and the equally nasty accelerated possession procedure for repossession and thus these increasingly private focused and overtly asocial housing associations are getting away with it!
It means 1 in 4 housing association tenants can be evicted on the whim of their housing association landlord, the same HA landlord who is at pains to stress they are social landlords!
Surely, despite all and sundry proclaiming we live in a post-truth society, you would think that lobby groups and the media would still consider those pesky little things called FACTS!
The official figures for 2015/16 are below and prove this – one of those pesky facts reader – which escapes the minds of the lazy journalists such as those in the Independent here when it loudly proclaims “Number of private renters made homeless has trebled since 2010 figures reveal.”
In fact the figures do not reveal that at all, they merely record that ASTs and the use of the accelerated possession procedure in getting possession has increased significantly and which, the Independent wrongly assumes to all be private landlords when the use of AST and the accelerated possession procedure is common by social landlords!
As you can see in 2015/16 and correctly ignoring supported housing housing associations granted 169,056 new tenancies (124,415 and 44,641) of which 40,026 were AST or no-fault eviction tenancies.
While the use of no-fault eviction ASTs ending are the largest reason for homelessness, we must not assume as the Independent has done that AST equates to PRS only when 1 in 4 housing association new tenancies are these same no-fault eviction tenures.
Note well that the official repossession statistics released by the government do not record what type of landlord, social or private, used the accelerated possession procedure.
The Independent has lazily assumed the accelerated possession procedure use are all the private landlord and ascribed them to the PRS in their flawed analysis when social landlords use this all the time on the 1 in 4 of housing association new properties let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
As you can also see in Table 2A above council landlords have zero use of AST as they are not allowed to use them, only housing associations the other form of social landlord and who are CHOOSING to use AST as their preferred form of tenure.
Housing associations claim to be social landlords yet they choose to have 1 in 4 of their new properties on this extremely asocial form of tenure.
When the Independent automatically and falsely equates AST just with the private landlord it lets housing associations off the hook in terms of analysis and criticism.
We also see John Healey of the Labour Party in this Independent article only criticising private landlords for AST use in the Independent article which is also lazy of him and also wrong in fact. (see footnote 1)
We also we see the many lobbies against no-fault evictions and security of tenure such as Generation Rent and Axe the Housing Act similarly equate AST use only with the private landlord and again the housing associations do not get criticised.
Yet the housing associations are a much easier target for these groups as they are perceived as being social and proclaim themselves to be social at every turn, usually in comparison to the ‘bogey man’ of the private landlord.
As 1 in 4 new housing association properties are AST, the no fault we don’t like the cut of your jib eviction tenure that the private landlord gets rightly criticised for!
The failure of tenant groups in not seeing that HA’s are increasingly asocial by only seeing AST as a private landlord issue lets HA’s off the hook and those who campaign against AST and the use of the accelerated possession procedure fail to see that housing associations are just as guilty as private landlords.
Campaigns against HA’s based on how can you say you are a social landlord when you choose to adopt the same asocial form of tenure in AST as the private landlord does would for my money be far more successful than campaigning for the government to regulate the private rented sector – which they will never do!
Or in summation, why do you believe the flawed incompetent analyses you read in the Independent or the Guardian or from the Labour Party … and why not use those pesky little things called FACTS in this post-truth society!!
1 Perhaps that is more to do with John Healey being of the Blairite Labour faction and in bed with the housing associations when Corbyn and McDonnell have stressed they want a massive council house building programme and councils can’t use AST?
2 Housing Association also CHOSE to make just 13.6% of their newly developed properties being rented on a social rent basis. Again that is their choice to see just 5464 of 40,124 new properties being let on a social rent basis.
86.4% of all housing association developments in 2015/16 were NOT for social rent and more of their ‘products’ were for outright private sale and private rent than they were for social rent – or genuinely affordable… itself a term that is a misnomer as HA’s charge 13.6% more on the average social rent basis than a council landlord does when we look at Housing Benefit levels at £94.22 for HAs to £82.94 for council landlords in the latest figures.
PS – Housing associations CHOSE to issue 40,026 households with AST last year and as the average household is 2.4 people then HAs CHOSE to give 96,000 people a totally insecure form of tenure – social landlords my arse!
A long comment to this was posted by “AA” that I have removed as I would like to speak with AA about the issue they describe in confidence. I have messaged AA at their social media address. Their issue was another case of a social landlord using AST’s and seeking to remove existing tenants in order to replace them with higher rent paying tenants – some on AR and some for supported housing – which is becoming a disturbing trend with the named social landlord and others. I am aware of many similar cases and I am advising some tenants and tenant groups over their scandalous treatment by these purportedly ‘social’ landlords who treat tenants in this outrageously feodaric way