Social Housing

There should be two rates for Council house rent - the first should be based on welfare and the working poor, ie under £17,500 so that the Council pays a known outcome every month/year and the second should be above £17,500 which is the Joseph Rowantree Foundation indicator of poverty threshold.  The second rate should mean that Counil house tenants pay  rent at market rental value for the property if their signle or combined househould income is above £17,500.  This would mean that the Council would have money available for resources by using rents to assist building new homes, resurfacing roads, keeping libraries open and street lighting etc.

 

Also in houses of multiple occupanncy and homeless people and students the rental income of the household should be per household not per individual.  That would mean that rents are lowered instead of paying £1000 each per month for a 4 bed house at £4000 the rent would be £1000 at £250 each.  That would stop Councils forking out luxury rental income to Landlords for properties that are not luzury appartments, such as students accommodation and homeless accommodation.  Lowering the rents would make it easier to get places as well as enable the family or person to get into work and afford their rent.

 

Also Councils should stop paying management fees on top of rental income for homeless or temporary homeless people - rents need to come down not up as they price decent people out of the workplace as they cannot afford their rent especialy if they are low skilled.

See lesleymcdade.blogspot.com for further social housing ideas.

Why the contribution is important

Because my Council has a £37m payback for 2018/19 and cutbacks are hitting social and local services.  The system is currently unjust and inequitious and needs sorting.  Council need to prioritise themselves better and bring in an income sufficient to meet the social housing needs of the area, currently there is a waiting list for homes of 11,000 in my area.

by Lesley on October 10, 2018 at 07:16PM

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Comments

  • Posted by Husoi October 17, 2018 at 15:12

    Why I don't agree with this:

    1 - Housing shouldn't be a source of finance for other council activities.
    2 - The number of empty properties around Scotland could make a substantial dent in the waiting list should the government had the political willingness to solve the problem.
    3 - Housing should be for people who can't afford market rent and as soon housing tenants circumstances change taking them over the 17.5k they should be strongly encouraged to seek open market properties.
    4 - If councils dedicate more time to taking care of their housing stock instead of paying profit fees to private companies this would result in more money being available for the housing instead.
    5 - Paying private building companies which are (correctly) seeking for profit is counterproductive, again management fees for private companies can be used in the housing stock while materials and labour would be cheaper in-house council workers than the private sector.
    6 - By promoting construction by the council themselves these could create more employment and apprenticeship on much needed trades like plumbers, electricians, joiners etc.

    Finally, the cutbacks and paybacks mentioned are mostly due to incompetence and wasted resources than anything else. Housing should be mostly a temporary measure (unless in cases where long term accommodation is required). Instead we have housing tenants living "ad eternum" in a property without the need to look for a paid job that would allow them to improve their family's wellbeing and reduce waiting lists.

    The council I live wasted over £1m in refurbishment of a high street where shops close on almost a daily basis with residents not being able to park nearby because the council charges an exorbitant amount for parking driving shoppers away to other areas with free parking while shops struggle to keep open.
    The same council spent a fortune in refurbishing several roundabouts 1 month before last local elections.
    Councils in Scotland have access to funds making their properties energy efficient but their lethargic attitude stops them to take advantage of this and as consequence not help their tenants.
    Furthermore, if councils really want to reduce wastage they should get together and share resources instead of spending money on equipment available elsewhere.
  • Posted by JimmyS November 13, 2018 at 16:46

    This initial post is all over the place and does not recognise the ring fencing of the Housing Revenue Account. £17,500 is not a threshold at which working people can afford market rents - especially in areas such as Edinburgh. In order to encourage more affordable house building, both in the public and private sectors, land should be subject to compulsory purchase at current use value by councils to break the stranglehold that developers have in rationing of new housing supply.
  • Posted by Aspinall November 29, 2018 at 15:43

    Social housing in Scotland, through its multiple hosing associations, has delivered many examples of local decision making as most associations are geographically local and controlled by a Management Board that often include tenants. There has been some amalgamation or takeovers and the failure of Glasgow Housing Association to devolve ownership to smaller associations is to be regretted as are the takeovers by English associations.

    Local Authority social housing can be influenced by political considerations rather than what is in the best interest of the tenants. For instance a suppression of rent rises which would pay for improvement and repairs in an election year.

     
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