Benefit cuts force tenant evictions to record levels – Guardian

[Image: Order of Truth.]

[Image: Order of Truth.]

The cost of benefits cuts is starting to filter through as record numbers of people lost their homes by the end of September, according to Hilary Osborne in The Guardian.

The number of tenant households in England and Wales evicted from their homes hit record levels in the third quarter of the year, with cuts to social security among the factors leading to more than 100 evictions a day. Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that 11,100 rented properties were repossessed by bailiffs between July and September, the highest quarterly figure since the records began in 2000. In contrast, just 2,805 mortgage borrowers lost their homes.

By the end of September, more than 30,000 tenant households had lost their homes, and the figure is on track to be higher than the 37,792 recorded in 2013. The eviction figures do not show who owns the rental properties in question, but recently a large proportion of possession claims have been made by social landlords such as local councils and housing associations, who have warned it is caused by the introduction of the bedroom tax.

Meanwhile figures from the government showed that although the number of new homes created in England rose by 10% in 2013/14, it remained almost 100,000 down on the figure reached before the financial crisis, and below the number experts say are needed to keep up with demand.

Official government figures showed that 136,610 homes were added to England’s housing stock during the year, including 130,340 newbuild properties. Almost 4,500 new homes came from conversions, while 12,520 were created through change of use and there were 1,330 other gains. Some of these new homes were offset by the loss of 12,060 residences through demolition.

Several questions arise from this:

What has happened to the properties that have been repossessed? Have they been provided to other social tenants or have they been sold off?

And what do the ‘new build’ figures say about the Conservative-led government’s boast that it is building more homes than ever before?

It seems the Tory/Lib Dem bid to make us all homeless is going according to plan.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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8 thoughts on “Benefit cuts force tenant evictions to record levels – Guardian

  1. amnesiaclinic

    Absolutely tragic. When you consider the costs of rehousing or emergency B&B and the costs to families of schools, communities and jobs it is absolutely stupid and needs to be stopped immediately!

  2. Sandra Martin

    just on my housing association street there are two 3 bed houses laying empty one for more that 10 weeks (unheard of prior to bedroom tax). Since the introduction of the bedroom tax the H.A. has adopted a policy whereby two children of either sex have to share a bedroom until they are 10. The result being only families with three or more children are eligible for the larger houses.

    I personally have been trying to fight this policy for a while due to a relative who has two young children of either sex; one has behavioural problems which prevent him from sharing with his little sister. At present they are in a two-bedroomed house. To qualify for a larger house the child needs to be on middle-to-high rate DLA which is near impossible to get for this particular child’s issues, and have a diagnosis from a specialist (GP support letter is not adequate).

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The housing association will have adopted that policy because it is a requirement by law, since the bedroom tax was introduced.

      1. Sandra Martin

        Yes mike and this requirement is partly what is keeping families in expensive B&Bs whilst three bed roomed houses lie empty. The amount of children in temporary accommodation has soared since the bedroom tax. Heartbreaking since these were peoples beloved homes for years until they were forced to leave by the same policy.

        I was told that the H/A has to make the best of their properties, I really think they are only just waking up to the reality of the financial impact on themselves, helped by a very long letter from myself pointing out that the policy defeats their objectives and that of the government, causes misery and they should be making more noise about it.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You don’t have to tell me; I’m one of the first people to cotton onto the implications of the Bedroom Tax, back in 2012 when it was first suggested in public.

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