Housing Bill Briefing

In response to the Housing Bill, SHOUT has compiled a Parliamentary Briefing addressing the issues presented in the Bill as it currently stands. Our briefing can be read here.

This is a forensic look at the implications for the existing measures detailed in the Bill and a range of suggestions that the SHOUT campaign feels will make the creation of homes that people can genuinely afford to buy or rent a realistic prospect.

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  • Matheus Marques
    A beautiful post talking about housing, and housing, governments should ensure this to all!! GeniusX Rui Falcão increases your focus and your memory!

  • cat irons
    The pay to stay proposal is disgraceful. I have lived in social housing for 14 years, initially I was unemployed and a single parent, I was also carer for my brother who had a brain injury- once my son started school I worked my self into the ground to go to uni as a mature student and qualify as a social worker, this involved taking out student loans and getting into some debt but I did it and passed my course. Over the next few years I continued to work hard within a very stressful role (stressful due to government cuts and lack of services for the vulnerable people I was supporting I must add!) Anyway I now earn a small amount over the threshold however I am far from well off… my son is still school age and my partner is unemployed but cant claim anything as I’m working full time, so I am the sole wage earner. We had our working families tax credits taken away when the Tories lowered the threshold a couple of years ago. I have an additional £120 every month taken from my pay at source (on top of tax) to repay student loans. I even had to opt out of my works pension scheme as we need the money in the here and now. My take home pay covers bills and living costs. I need a car as it is an essential part of my job role to do home visits all over the County I work in- this is even in my job description! Everybody’s circumstances are so different you cannot just assume that those on an ‘average’ wage are able to pay more.
    On my wages I would not get a mortgage and we couldn’t afford higher rents…. I wonder what do the government think will happen to my family? Where would we go? We would potentially become homeless ourselves, we will be priced out of a home and community we have lived in for 14 years, where we have spent time, money and effort making this our home. I would never have done this if I had known we may be forced out later down the line.
    We wont be able to afford to move- there would be costs involved in the move itself, then deposits and rent in advance-it would be no doubt at least a grand to change to private and why the hell should we!!!
    The council would need to know how much people earn to calculate rents, this is none of their business. I don’t claim anything why should I disclose my personal details for means testing. As others have rightly pointed out our rent is not subsidised.
    It is so sad when it gets to normal hard working folk having to think about dropping hours or giving up work in order to keep their homes- ludicrous how on earth is this policy ‘making work pay’, its penalising those that do.
    Do they want to discourage people having aspirations to improve their lives? Having a mixture of different people in communities is essential.
    The cost of implanting this policy would be huge! It is not the answer to the housing crisis and they know it- sort out the private landlords, build more homes, make sure rents and house prices are affordable- not what they claim is affordable (is it 250,000 the current claim?) That is silly money – over 8 times my salary.
  • Louise Oates
    The Pay to Stay policy will cost the government dearly. It will drive higher earning working class, and lower middle class families past the brink of poverty, and into social security as they will no longer be able to afford to work. Using gross wages knowing that is not what people have left in their pocket to live on, and pay rent/mortgage after the government takes its slice is ridiculous. People may earn £30,000+ but take home a lot less after tax and NI are taken (and extra voluntary pension contributions which you encourage) yet are expected to pay market rent on social rent homes leaving very little to pay bills and buy food. What about travel expenses to get to work? What about people who look well off but because of their outlay and caring responsibilities have large overheads eating into their pay packets? My husband and I look like middle class earners on paper, we both have reasonable jobs. I work as a civil servant, my husband is a bricklayer, we get no help as we are over the threshold for any credits or benefits even though we are both Carer’s, and pay for everything but I would still say so far so fair. However we have a young adult son who is disabled and because he is in a specialised educational setting we support him, he lives with us (it would cost the government tens of thousands if we took up the supported semi independent living to which he is entitled!) My husband has to drive to work (petrol is not cheap), I get Pubic Transport, you know the environmentally friendly social accepted travel that governments love to push (that eats about 25% of my net wage). I work instead of staying at home claiming Carer’s Allowance because I enjoy doing a job that counts, I feel proud of working instead of relying on benefits. I am also mindful that on the current social rent, and with our other overheads my husbands wage does not quite cover everything, so I work to make sure my kids can have a pair of shoes or a new coat when they need it rather than constantly worry about where the next penny will come from and see them walking around in rags….. but if this pay to stay policy is brought in, this will no longer be the case, our rent will more than double. My wage will be entirely eaten by rent, leaving me in deficit with travel costs. We cannot buy as my husband is a fair bit older than me so we could not get a mortgage as a couple, I would not get a mortgage as a single applicant on my civil servant wage as I do not earn enough. So where does it leave the people like us that for whatever reasons cannot afford to buy but get trapped by pay to stay? If this Pay to Stay goes ahead, my husband and I have discussed him quitting his job (he has been in continuous employment for over 34 years, and has a good 10-12 years full time work left in him) whilst I stay in my lower paid role, and he will become the sole carer which would then entitle him to claim Carer’s Allowance, Tax Credits and what ever other help we can get to avoid being financially crippled by Pay to Stay. How ridiculous is that? Instead of us just about managing now whilst still being contributing non benefit claiming members of society, costing the tax payer nothing, Pay to Stay will drive us into the welfare system just so we can keep a roof over our heads. Instead of bringing in this daft pay to stay , claiming wrongfully that social housing tenants are subsidised when in fact it is private rents that have shamefully been allowed to rise unchecked, how about forcing caps on private rents instead? Private renters do not subsidise social renters, private renters subsidise greedy private landlords taking advantage of this overcrowded Island, too many people, not enough homes. Working families have enough to pay for without this worry. This unjust policy will only crush the type of people the government rely on to keep the taxes coming in, but government will have to pick up the pieces later on if they go ahead with this.
    Say “NO” to pay to stay! Please Government make the right decision, leave the caps where they already are.
    I believe Councils & HA’s will not accept housing applications, or offer social housing to households with gross incomes of £40,000 to £60,000 pa depending on area. With the high cost of living, and Income Tax and NI, that does not turn out to be a lot of money once all the bills are paid.
    UPDATED October 2016 Capital Economics report: Building Social Rent homes
    SHOUT Supports ending the Housing Crisis in a Generation