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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Campaigning Baroness slams Sunak over possible “mass homelessness”

Former Labour Baroness Alicia Kennedy, the new director of the campaign group Generation Rent, claims 500,000 renters are in arrears as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

She says: “While support for jobs is welcome, people are struggling to put food on the table now and face the threat of losing their home when the eviction ban is lifted next month. They can’t eat out to help out: renters need a pay out to eat in.”

She goes on to say that Sunak’s stamp duty holiday - exempting properties selling for £500,000 or less from SDLT until the end of next March - does not help renters whose incomes and savings have been destroyed by the pandemic and face a further setback to their hopes of buying a home. 

“Right now the government is leaving renters to bear the cost of the pandemic - we need Rishi Sunak to increase local housing allowance, remove the restrictions stopping people from accessing it, and end the rent debt crisis before it causes mass homelessness” she adds in a statement.

Kennedy welcomes the £2 billion Green Homes Grant confirmed yesterday, which she says “could make a huge difference to the quarter of private rentals that are non-decent”. 

But she says the government must make it easier for the tenants themselves to request energy efficiency improvements to their homes.

“Because enforcement of standards is so patchy, landlords don’t have much incentive to insulate their homes, so renters need the right support to make the most of this scheme and pay less for their heating” she claims.

Meanwhile another campaigning charity, Shelter, took to Twitter to describe the changes to stamp duty as “just a distraction” when the country requires investment in social housing.

  • jeremy clarke

    So, the lazy sods that live off the state permanently got a pay rise, millions were furloughed getting at least 80% of their wages with fewer places to spend money, those being made redundant will get state support. No reason why rents could not be paid other than malice and the knowledge that they could not be thrown out on the streets, yet this woman is still droning on?! Someone tell her to put a sock in it and start supporting landlords or her dear charges will find out what hardship is without a roof over their heads!

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    Whilst I agree in principle Jeremy, she is in effect supporting landlords by asking for tenants to get support. Of course with many this will only work if the landlord gets paid directly.

    If that happens then there is reduced need to evict and as we know once that process starts rent will just not be paid in most cases, but with the courts log jammed it could take a long time to get a result.

     
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    Baroness Alicia Kennedy, the new director of the campaign group Generation Rent, claims 500,000 renters are in arrears as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

    And Shelter put this at just under half (226,000) this level.

    Kennedy welcomes the £2 billion Green Homes Grant confirmed yesterday, which she says “could make a huge difference to the quarter of private rentals that are non-decent”.

    So where is the research that shows a quarter of rented property is 'non-decent'?

    Another supposed leader of a rogue organisation talking out of the what they should be sitting on.

    I am astounded as to where they get these numbers from. My guess is that they plucked out of the air........unless you know different.

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    .. " re where is the research that shows a quarter of private rented property is Non-decent. "
    Its from the English Housing Survey, although I have have long had doubts about the data collection, accuracy and wider extrapolation.
    Before you shoot me ( as the messenger ) I don't agree with the data either.

     
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    What is their definition of “non-decent”. For instance that could mean no double glazing. I’d love to put double glazing in one of my flats but it’s in a conservation area and the council will not permit it.

     
  • Matthew Payne

    Big numbers like this need contextualising if you are trying to illustrate how much worse a scenario is. Firstly, rent arrears normally run at about 8% over a rolling 12 months anyway when we dont have a pandemic, so it is only the increase that's relevent. Secondly, what do you class as an arrear, 1 day late or 7 days late, must compare apples with apples? Thirdly, what are the reasons for the arrears? Most arrears are timing issues where tenants pay manually, have set up their SO late, or want to get their Landlords attention for whatever reason, affordability is never high up the list of reasons.

    So how many more tenants are in arrears than in January (measured in the same way) as a result of affordabilty caused by the economic shock wave of the pandemic? It won't be anywhere near 500,000.

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