The affordability crisis in social housing

Patrick Sudlow:

All political parties are guilty of aiding and abetting the war on those least able, to support themselves, including the Green Party.

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

IF the Conservatives know the inevitable consequences of their social housing policies THEN they are deliberately setting out to destroy the social housing model. 

IF the Conservatives do not realise the inevitable destruction their policies will cause then there is hope for the benefit cap and pay more to stay to be changed.

Little if any hope can be held out for a change in Conservatives right to buy policy as giving housing association tenants the same right as council tenants is a powerful basis for selling RTB2 to tenants, landlords, political opponents and the general public. Much has been written on RTB2 and much more will be yet the overt and sole focus on it is deeply worrying as the benefit cap and pay more to stay really do create a radical change and they both centre on affordability

In short:

  • What tenant household types can afford social…

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Alaska’s terrifying wildfire season and what it says about climate change #Auspol 

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Patrick Sudlow:

What our politicians do not seem to understand, is that climate change is an exponential occurrence. Which means, we need to be drastically reducing our Green House Gas (#GHG) emissions. Not continuing with exploitation of fossil fuels or burning biomass. The human race does not have fifty years, catastrophic climate change can occur any time now. So even nuclear, which is not renewable or carbon free, will not prevent the inevitable if we do not reduce our emissions.

Originally posted on jpratt27:

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Hundreds of wildfires are continually whipping across this state this summer, leaving in their wake millions of acres of charred trees and blackened earth.
At the Fairbanks compound of the state’s Division of Forestry recently, workers were busy washing a mountain of soot-covered fire hoses, which stood in piles roughly six feet high and 100 feet long. About 3,500 smokejumpers, hotshot crews, helicopter teams and other workers have traveled to Alaska this year from across the country and Canada. And they have collectively deployed about 830 miles of hose this year to fight fires.
An hour north of the state’s second-biggest city, firefighters were attacking flames stretching across more than 31,000 acres, including an area close to the Trans-Alaska pipeline system, which stretches from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. And that’s just one of about 300 fires at any given time.
“People don’t fathom how big Alaska is. You can…

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£20BILLION more Cuts! To fund another £93BILLION in Corporate handouts?

Patrick Sudlow:

And what do we here from the #GreenParty about this, the bedroom tax and sanctions?

Originally posted on jaynelinney:

The Mirror today reports that George Osborne is to slash a FURTHER £20 BILLION from almost every Govt. Dept, including of course, the DWP in November’s budget.

The question I believe the Nation ought to be asking is WHY, particularly when in one year he granted Private Corporations  nearly FIVE TIMES this amount in Corporate Welfare? 

In 2013 alone £93 BILLION was given away to Private Companies, including a  £FIVE MILLION government grant to AstraZeneca; supposedly to develop its research and development centre at Alderley Park, Cheshire. In just five months, the same company closed the plant along with 2,100 jobs; I don’t suppose this has anything to do with the project being in Osborne’s constituency?

To this end I’ve stated a petition on Change.org demanded Osborne STOP using OUR money to finance Private Corporations and to REPAY it into Public Services. I have no expectations of this happening but maybe if the people knew precisely…

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The world eats cheap bacon at the expense of North Carolina’s rural poor

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Patrick Sudlow:

Unfortunately, the global food industry has adversely affected the Worlds poor, while claiming to make meat cheaply available. The global food industry is poisoning the poor and the environment, and Governments are subsidizing for doing so!

Originally posted on Quartz:

Duplin County, North Carolina

The first thing Violet Branch does when she wakes up is to inhale through her nose to see whether the smell of hog excrement from across the street has seeped into her home again.

“Sometimes when I wake up the odor is in the house. Sometimes before I go to bed, the odor is in the house,” says Branch, 71, who lives next door to a swine farmer who keeps two lakes filled with a swampy mixture of feces and urine that he periodically spreads on his crops as fertilizer. An acrid odor of rotting eggs fills her yard at least twice a week and occasionally her home, giving her nausea and on some occasions causing her to vomit. All she can do is wait until it passes or ask her son who lives next door to drive her to the nearby Walmart where she paces the aisles until her breathing returns to normal.

Branch, wearing tiger-striped reading glasses and…

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Government #Disablism Discrimination in Action

Patrick Sudlow:

There is nothing to really like about the article, except it exposes the truth. People are intimidated into remaining silent, as the #JimmySalville unsavoury affair highlighted. People are too frightened to stand up against bullying from figures of authority. And this is reflected in the declining numbers registering to vote and low voter turn-out. Nothing much has changed, since the Norman invasion of 1066, when we Anglo-Saxon-Jutes lost our democratic rights, to be only ruled over by the robber Barons.

Originally posted on jaynelinney:

This week a woman not known for her timidity, admitted how a non-disabled man had used his presence and the environment to disempower her; I’m referring to Dame Anne Begg and the she interview gave to the BBC. In the Daily Record Dame Anne is quoted as saying “Iain Duncan Smith took to standing behind me during Prime Minister’s Questions. He stood at what’s called the Bar of the House and occasionally he would lean on my wheelchair…Our working relationship was slightly fraught anyway because I’d been critical of him a lot. I wanted to keep that criticism a professional criticism, not a criticism of him as a person so I never quite built up the courage to actually say: ‘Please don’t do that.’” Dame Anne also was recorded as having explaining how “she would normally reproach people who invaded her personal space but she let him off“.

This is…

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DHPs to halve in this Parliament in DWP official figures – Huge surge in bedroom tax evictions!

Patrick Sudlow:

Will this now mean, the likes of #CitySouth, #Manchester start mass evictions? Adding to the already high homelessness in Manchester, despite the fact there are over 5,000 vacant dwellings!

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

The DWP released official projections on all benefits with the 2015 budget and there are tables and tables of data to pore over.

Given the huge speculation over the £12 billion of welfare cuts – and note extremely well the term welfare cuts has always been used not welfare benefit cuts – these tables I have looked at again and they hold plenty of nasty surprises for social housing.

These data tables are very revealing and I will probably draft many posts from them.

For example, while we already knew the DHP budget this year has been reduced to £125 million from £165 million, itself a fall of 24%, the DWP projections have this falling by a further £40 million next year down to £85 million or roughly half of the 2014/15 figure.

So just as we see the bedroom tax being joined by the far greater cuts of the…

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#DWP no longer produce data for Hardship Fund – WHY?

Patrick Sudlow:

Is the Government hiding facts that show, how its policies are causing so much pain and suffering the poorer members of our country?

Originally posted on jaynelinney:

In this month we’ve finally seen National (and even International) press, about the DWP’s refusal to publish the numbers of people dying after their benefits had been stopped. This is fully justified and it is with no small thanks to fellow blogger Vox Political for his persistence, that at the time of writing 80,572 people are demanding the DWP release these numbers.

Today in daily updates from whatdotheyknow,  another DWP response caught my eye, a FOI request enquiring about a statement from #Cameron re the Hardship Fund for claimant facing financial difficulties. The request asks several questions including what the Hardship fund is, the criteria for application and the number of applicants, both successful and rejected. The DWP’s response did explain what and how but… regarding the numbers, the response intrigued me:

Data on JSA awards was last published in September 2012 which stated “the number of hardship awards made between April 2011 and March 2012 was about 64,000; it continued with “A commitment was made…

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No DHP for bedroom tax households after July 2015

Patrick Sudlow:

We can see a lot of people becoming homeless in the #ManCityCouncil area, on top of the already high level of homelessness. And as the author points out, it was #Labour’s policy as well!

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

Tenants affected by the bedroom tax and all social landlords need to take note that it is highly unlikely any discretionary housing payments (DHP) will be given to bedroom tax cases after July this year.

The reason is the inevitable consequence of the reduction in the benefit cap and all local councils will have no choice but to divert DHP to benefit cap cases and away from bedroom tax cases and this also means that the majority of DHP awards will go to the private tenant not the social tenant.

Local councils are given DHP money from central government and they are free to spend 1% or 100% of it on bedroom tax or benefit cap or LHA cap and frankly, whatever they deem to be the priority.

The reduced benefit cap means private landlords will seek to evict all families on benefit firstly and soon to be followed by social…

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Why housing campaigns are flogging a dead house

Patrick Sudlow:

You are correct Joe, with even Shelter pushing the need for more affordable homes! In 100% controlled Labour, the council has continued its demolition of perfectly ‘fit-for-purpose’ council homes. To make way for ‘homes-to-buy’, which are built to the lowest energy efficiency. So that property developers, like Tom Bloxham of Urban Splash can accumulate more wealth, at the tax payers expense. Despite the fact, there is over 5,000 empty dwellings in Manchester. And as you state, the social housing sector has done nothing, to highlight the nonsense actions by the council.
Richard Leese, the council leader thinks building more ‘home-to-buy, will bring more young professionals into Manchester. Manchester is already, one of the most deprived areas in the UK. It has the lowest life expectancy for males and third for females. 60% of people who work in Manchester, come from outside Manchester. Therefore, we have high unemployment, in some areas it is 55%, who are ‘economically inactive’. Homelessness, is increasing because of social cleansing, but even the young professionals are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
The big problem in Manchester, is that the electorate are not voting. Lucy Powell elected as MP, with only a 28% turn-out. A recent council election, the turn-out was 11% and this is an area, which has undergone “Regeneration”.

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

Social n. – of or relating to people NOT to bricks and mortar!  

We need more houses! We need more housing! We need more social housing! We need more genuinely affordable social housing! Lets shout about it we have a shortage of supply!!!  And all the while the social rented sector carries as its narcissistic want and outrage.

All perfectly valid points yet all issues of or relating to landlords not to tenants or customers or what really matters PEOPLE.

Strange how you replace the word council in front of the word housing with the word social yet fail to see be able to see what that means!

Social housing is in the people business not the bricks and mortar business and the welfare reform policies which now dictate social housing have not only hammered that home, they have used a sledgehammer to do so. Yet still the blindfold is on social housings leaders…

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