‘We won’t reduce the rent … We’ll kick them out’: Research Reveals Landlord’s Response to Housing Benefit Reform

HomelessA report published by the DWP gives a glimpse of the horrific future hundreds of thousands of people are set to face due to housing benefit reforms.

The report is part of an ongoing piece of ‘independent’ research commissioned by the DWP to look at the impact of the first raft of welfare reforms – the vicious cuts to housing benefits.  These included the caps on the amount of benefit available to pay for housing and a reduction in local housing allowance rates from the bottom 50% to 30% of the local rental market.  Another change meant that those aged under 35 are no longer entitled to a self-contained property, but can only claim the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR).

The research features wide ranging interviews with claimants, landlords and housing advisors discussing the changes.  As is repeatedly pointed out, as these interviews were carried out throughout 2012, then many, if not most claimants will not have yet been affected by the reforms.  This research is therefore an indicator of how people are intending to  respond to the changes.   The report is also quite long so I won’t try cover it all in one post.

Predictably the most telling comments come from landlords.  According to the report, 16% of landlords who currently let to claimants plan to stop doing so due to the cuts.  Most landlords seem well aware of what is to come and are already making plans:

“I’m giving notice on [20 tenants affected by the change to the Shared Accommodation Rate], it’s not fair, I don’t like doing it. And we’re not taking any [more] on. We have to protect ourselves and we have to protect our landlords.”

This was the response of one letting agent to the vicious slashing of housing benefits for those under 35 and is an attitude which seems to dominate the private rental sector.  Despite initial claims by the Government that landlords would lower rents in response to the changes it seems that barely any of them have been prepared to do so.  Only those renting in areas with high numbers of claimants have seriously considered this as an option – but crucially even this in many cases appears to be just a temporary measure.  Landlords may be willing to accept a temporary small reduction in rent to avoid the expense of eviction, but will turf tenants out when tenancies are due for renewal.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a localised benefit, which is paid according to the local cost of rents.  This decision to peg the maximum available at the bottom 30%, rather than 50% of the market, will mean hundreds of thousands of private sector tenants forced to pay some of their rent out of meagre benefits intended to pay for other living expenses.

The average loss to claimants according to the report is £7.76 a week – although due to the caps in some areas this will be far higher.  Landlords appear to be sceptical that those on benefits will be able to afford this, with one warning: “Some of them are making it up but a lot of them are struggling because it’s not just [LHA] that’s been cut, they’re getting other money cut as well, so it’s making it harder and harder.”

Many landlords report having already reduced the number of claimants they rent to on Local Housing Allowance due to the introduction of Direct Payments by the Labour Government in 2008.  This meant that generally rent payments were sent direct  to tenants not landlords, a move which was hugely unpopular amongst those renting out property.  When Universal Credit is finally launched, the Direct Payments regime will be strengthened and also applied to the social housing sector.  The  very thing that most landlords say puts them off renting to claimants is about to be hugely extended.

As would be expected, one of the biggest impacts of the reforms has been in London where in some boroughs almost no properties are now affordable to those on benefits due to the caps.  This will not just affect those out of work – 44% of housing benefit claimants in London are working.  It will also not just impact on central London boroughs such as Westminster where rents are astronomical.  A letting agent in Barking and Dagenham reports their current strategy on renting to tenants on benefits: “We have slowly, slowly been booting them out, average between 150 and 200 properties.”

The research also reveals that a less well known, but sweeping reform to housing benefits, the introduction of the Shared Accommodation Rate for those under 35, could bring some of the most devastating consequences.   This change, which means anyone under 35 will have to find a room in a shared house to be eligible for LHA, was carried out without any assessment of whether enough properties exist to house all those who need them.

The report suggests that this is not the case, with many landlords pulling out of the multiple occupancy market due to recently introduced regulations.  Planning permission is now needed if a property is to be used for multiple tenants in a move which many landlords claim has made the sector unprofitable.  Quite simply, most landlords say the Shared Accommodation rate is too low, summed up by this quote from a landlord in Perth:  “‘Where’s the difference going to come from £52 [LHA] up to £85 a week [rent]?  There’s no way somebody on £120 a fortnight can afford to pay the difference and I can’t rent them out at £53 a week. I think they’ll possibly be moving, I can’t see any alternative.”

Almost all landlords quoted say they are planning to evict claimants under 35, with some going even further and suggesting they will now not rent to anyone from this age group: “We’re not housing under 35s now, so long term it will resolve itself because we’re not putting anyone in under 35. But we’ve got this 15, 20 people who are going to be on the street.”

This comment is backed up by a housing advice worker later in the report who says: “a lot of existing agents and landlords have told me they’ve now served notice on every tenant they have under 35. Even those tenants who might be in work at the moment, a lot of landlords have thought if they lose their job they won’t be able to pay the rent.”

Many landlords fear that tenants under 35 will face homelessness as a result of the drastic cuts: “[They’ll end up] on the streets, they’ve got nowhere to go. These people haven’t got no funds.”

Others have concerns that separated parents will no longer be able to have their children stay with one Hackney landlord saying: “There are going to be certain tenants who it’s going to have a massive impact on.  My heart bleeds for them, because the majority of them are divorced fathers who see their kids. I’ve got one lovely guy, he’s got three kids, wife lives in Hillingdon, kids come and spend the weekend with him, where’s he going to put them? Does he lose his visitation rights to his children because he hasn’t got a job or hasn’t got the home to be able to offer the children somewhere to sleep [because] there isn’t any room?”

Like many of the bodged welfare reforms, it will be the most marginalised who are worst affected by the slashing of LHA rates for under 35s.  Those likely to end up homeless will be the people who cannot go back to live with their parents, or who face other difficulties such as a mental or physical health condition which makes sharing difficult or even impossible.

Whilst claimants in some form of supported accommodation, such as homeless nightshelters or women’s refuges have been exempt from the reforms (so far), many Local Authorities used informal relationships with landlords to provide housing for those they deem ‘vulnerable’.  The report suggests this is all likely to come to an end, with one landlord reporting: “‘I’m kicking them all out … I’m serving them notices because I want, on the day the rent will have to be changed, they’ll already be out … It’s a complete change to the portfolio.  I’ve always been the person they phone up and say they’ve got somebody who’s not well or who’s just come out of drug rehabilitation, that kind. I’ve always taken them in and never had a problem but I’m not going to do it any more.”

To read the DWP’s gushing press release which accompanied this report you would never guess the bleak future it describes for low income tenants.  This is far from surprising.  Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Fraud claimed the first piece of research in this series proved tenants were not facing excessive financial difficulties due to housing benefit reforms.  In fact the research had revealed that many tenants were having serious money problem before the cuts were even introduced.

This time the DWP is attempting to use the research to claim that there has been no Kosovo style social cleansing due to LHA reforms and people are not being exported from London in huge numbers.  But that’s because the report was carried before most claimants had been affected by the changes.  The views of claimants themselves, along with housing advice workers, (both of which I’ll cover later this week) reveals that this mass forced expulsion is simply yet to come.

It’s also important to note this research does not include the impact of the Bedroom Tax, the overall benefit cap or Council Tax benefit reform.  Nor does it consider the changes to DLA, Employment Support Allowance, the upcoming nightmare that is Universal Credit or the huge rise in the numbers of claimants having benefit’s sanctioned.  It also does not examine the consequences of the Benefit Uprating Bill which will see Local Housing Allowance rises capped at 1% annually despite rents soaring by over ten times that figure in some parts of the UK.

If this report makes grim reading (and it does) for all those concerned about the future of housing for people on low incomes, then it is only a small taste of what is to come.

The report can be read at: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/report_abstracts/rr_abstracts/rra_838.asp

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116 responses to “‘We won’t reduce the rent … We’ll kick them out’: Research Reveals Landlord’s Response to Housing Benefit Reform

  1. Rents through the roof – tenants through the door – welcome to renting in Coalition Britain. I worked in a local authority Housing Aid Centre from 1985 to 2005 and, if I’m totally honest, things were the worst for private tenants under Labour – until now. No Government has the bottle to tell private landlords that rents will NOT be allowed to rise as and when they want more money. Legal rent control MUST be reintroduced. Private renting is on the rise because of the penal cost of buying and problems getting mortgages. Allowing it to grow without any really effective regulation or control of rents is criminal.

  2. something survived...

    Vile. The people responsible for these ‘reforms’ should ALL be put on the street right now! And earn a living by crime (only works till you’re caught!) or by sucking off perverts.They have absolutely no clue of what being poor is like. PS they might want to know that when you are homeless people beat you up, set fire to you, puke on you, piss on you, rape you, or make you fight eachother and film it to put on the internet.. other people rob all your stuff. They should all do a Mandatory 2 Years’ Street Homelessness before even being considered for being allowed to make such judgements affecting us.

  3. Josephine jones

    greed greed, what would the government do, if people line the streets with homeless, would they say that’s ok, the people to blame is the people, not the greedy landlords.
    People have been blamed all through these drastic cuts, don’t blame the greedy rich, or the landlords who are feeding of the poor backs of the people.
    They let every country arrive here, although these people work hard, there is not enough homes, not enough work, but who do they accuse of scrounges, the hard working poor, or the sick and disabled, don’t think I have ever in my time hated a government as much as these in power, we got thatcher kicked out, why I this government getting away with far worse and use far worse cruelty.

    • Our Government will not allow the homeless to line the streeets. ” One does not want to have to step over Homeless people, on the way to the opera.” Perhaps they will bring back the Workhouse, only under a more friendly name, perhaps, Work Re-Education centres. If that is not succesful, then remember the British were the first to use concentration camps, in the Boer War. Shower anyone? or should I say Pathway to Care? After all in the words of George Bernard Shaw, “If you can not produce a little more than you consume, our great society ( Big Society ) can surely have no use for you. Perhaps a HUMANE GAS? WHAT? too soon? The phsycopathy and inhumanity of our current Government knows no bounds.

  4. For the amount of evil coming from the landlords and the government about rents and benefits, we are going to have shantie towns just like a third world country.
    I wouldn’t put it past these stupid MPs own most of the properties . This government have destroyed this once great country.

    Look up agenda 21

  5. Dear whom this concern or concerns I hope it raises. Suicide pending

    My name is Tony Lea representing . This lady has been waiting for over 15 months for tribunal/resolution. In April the chair directed us to prepare a submission and therefore causing despair where she actually broke down in front of the panel. The submission has been sent and a Tribunal for 22nd May was re-arranged. My client received a letter informing her she has now got to wait until June. Her partner has reported to me that he has found a suicide not to him and his daughter as this was the last straw. Is 16 months appropriate to wait. Is this breaking of appointments acceptable when you have people that ill where their own life ends or they end up in hospital due to mental health section.

  6. Children who are working & living at home are also hugely affected, as the amount of Housing Benefit to sick/disabled & unemployed has been capped, a non dependent living at home will have to make up the shortfall. The non dependent charge rises every year as there is no cap on what they pay, so if working grown up children are still living at home saving for a small flat they are stuck between a rock & a hard place. They will pay almost all or full rent of parents house + share of Council Tax + bills & food. I believe in fairness & this is far from fair. YES non dependents should pay their way but why should they have to pay full rent when the named occupier has their H/B reduced. Seems to me that grown children will never be able to leave home as they cant afford to save for their own property & are EXPECTED to pay their parents rent due to the cruel policies of the Current Government.
    Hope this makes sense

    • Maybe that is what the Tories want: many generations of the same family packed in together like sardines ten to a room, living under the same roof. Maybe they have some fantasy that it will revive good old fashioned family values (you know how they always love to romanticise the past) with family members saying goodnight John Boy, goodnight Mary Ellen, goodnight Grandpa, goodnight Jim Bob, like in the Waltons.

  7. BBC news at lunchtime said the courts have said it is not unlawful to reduce housing benefit because of extra bedrooms – I guess the judiciary have been nobbled?. I don’t know about enshrining leveson in law that politicians cannot touch to protect newspapers, the same should happen with the law governing welfare and it’s availability to all those in NEED not in GREED.

    • BertytThe Parrot

      guy fawkes | Is this info what you posted True? “BBC news at lunchtime said the courts have said it is not unlawful to reduce housing benefit because of extra bedrooms ” Seem strange as the case only started today !

    • As bob hasn’t answered that for you I will.

      The reason the Judiciary will do as it is told is becasue enough of them are complicit with pedobritain and the celebs been sacrificed are a warning to them all.

      Until one of them has the bottle to come clean and implicate the whole corrupt pervert pedos in the establishment it will stay corrupt. They have gone beyond let them eat cake to let them eat bugs now to. All courtesy of the UN and Agenda 21.

  8. The Tories solution? Extend the Shared Accommodation Rate to over 35s too as soon as possible.

  9. 9% yes 9% of the land in britain is built on….i am an advocate of perma-culture…and eco-village self build development…with access to worker co-ops…et al the creativity is endless…but getting planning approval for these sustainable developments is a nightmare..let alone getting the land and financial backing to do, what needs to be done, because it keeps resources bulk, in the local community…
    planners call these type of developments subsistence…and refuse to acknowledge that they are sd’s at all why….coz the rich, don’t get their cut of the action. they seem to want to keep people in need..in need of their “help”…there is a great and sensible need, to release land for the types of developments,i have mentioned…and many creative ways of building housing….
    governments should release funds to facilitate this process.of housing revolution….but this would tread on the toes of their sponsors!

    this is what i believe, a21 is truly all about,….”.putting human beings at the centre of concerns of development, who have a right to a healthy and productive lifestyle in harmony with nature”…this IS the 1st principle of a21,and not rachmanism..

    • and How much undeveloped land do the supermarkets sit on?
      you know the land they horde after forcing small local businesses out
      the land they buy out then turn to rubble and keep undeveloped
      to “reduce competition” in that area?

  10. UK going back to Victorian era

    My sister in law is a tight arsed bitch – she rents out a house in Notts to a family on benefits and they are being kicked out in 3 weeks and she has other tenants lined up – a foreign couple who will be paying double the rent for as sister in law says she is out to make as much money as possible and she isn’t a charity and the govt cant be relied on as a source of dependable income!

    • uk gbtve
      some folk are depressing..i know people who rent out in london…live where rent is cheap, and live a very lavish, esp by my standards, lifestyle…+ buy to let, has done much damage…selfish bastards…

  11. When all the poor and low paid have been moved into their shanty towns where are the powers that be to get their homes cleaned and all the shitty jobs done? Also where will Poundland and the like in London get their slaves, whoops I mean work experience people?

  12. Teesside Solidarity Movement

    Reblogged this on Teesside Solidarity Movement.

  13. Its frightening to think we have two more years of this fucking horrendous shower of corrupt cheating lying bastards.

    • What’s even more frightening is, all the so-called opposition has to offer is “we agree with the idea in principle but we disagree with the incompetent way it is being implemented.”

  14. the tories have always been out for themselves and the millionaires mostly that don’t pay tax or very little on there millions of pounds they make.
    the government are all eton toffs that have never been where most people are now. instead of just talking about why don’t we do something about it by way of a mass vote of no-confidence against this corrupt shower of gets.
    david cameron says “we are all in this together” well he seems to of forgotten that when he flow out to the usa at the cost of the people of the uk and did he go economy? no he went 1st class it makes me sick to the back teeth

  15. Landless Peasant

    I asked a representative of my landlord, which is a large Housing Association (now apparently classed as a “charitable business”, whatever that is), if they would consider lowering my rent as I am affected by Bedroom Tax + Council Tax and my only income is single-person’s JSA, and also considering that they have nowhere else to offer me that is of similar or better quality and which suits my needs, but they refused. If I can’t pay 14% of my rent I will be evicted. I also applied for Discretionary Housing Payments from the local Council but was refused. And I don’t even live in London. The Tories are wreaking Welfare havoc and causing Universal chaos all across the country it seems, and without any rhyme or reason other than for the sheer hell of it. Where do they expect us to go?

    • lp
      the bed tax is specifically targeted, to drive out those on benefits, from social housing 1st…the rates of tax…will increase…and eventually “evict”, all those who cannot afford to pay…and drive people more and more into dorm accommodation…this is the thin end of the wedge…i’m afraid, in the duality. the futures bleak my friend… http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/28/christiania-copenhagen-squat-last-stand

    • Well, there’s a nice big property in London, at the end of the Mall with a shedload of spare rooms standing in beautifully landscaped grounds. The normal occupants have several other homes too so they shouldn’t be too inconvenienced by all those evicted due to the bedroom tax occupying said spare rooms. (Sarcasm intended)

  16. Bill, when Cameron says “we”, he means his fellow Tory millionaires. When he says “in it together”, he means the ’till’.

    The country wouldn’t be broke if any government since Thatcher had cared about collecting taxes from the super-rich and multinational corporations. They’ll seize on cases like Jimmy Carr, and lambast him for questionable tax planning. But, it tells you how crooked and rigged the game is when there’s a huge target in Nu-Labour that they’ve not gone after.

    Yes, the War Criminal formerly known as Prime Minister Tony B.liar. Windrush, Firerush, all schemes to cheat the tax man. Blair’s five or six-figure speaking fees are funnelled through these corporate fictions to make his tax liability trivial, and give the treasury the bum’s rush.

    Doing Blair for tax evasion would be a massive coup for the Tories. But, they can’t. The majority of MPs sitting in Westminster would end up in jail if they went down that path. From my point of view, it would just be a good start.

    • The country isn’t broke. We are still one of the richest countries in the world. In the other European countries suffering from austerity, it has been imposed from outside as a condition of massive EC bailouts. Here in the UK it is an internal political strategy, chosen freely by an unelected government.

  17. How it looks to me…

    The vulnerable groups have been identified. They are villified and demonised by the media.
    This stage is ghettoisation.

    See if you can identify what comes next and suggest a modern equivalent.

  18. This government are rapidly creating the ideal conditions for a Hitleresque figure to come along and get all the disaffected people behind him.

  19. I’m a landlady of a flat which I bought after I sold my house following my marriage. I could have sold my house and paid off my husband’s mortgage and then no one would accuse me of being a greedy bastard. The flat will provide me with a small pension when I retire in 10 years – if I pay off the mortgage on it. The rent I charge covers the cost of the mortgage and no more. Many buy to let landlords will be similar to me. I’m not greedy or “evil” but if I don’t charge the going rate then I will have to sell up; then there is one less flat on the market to rent to people who cannot afford to buy. It is simply unrealistic to imagine that landlords won’t recoup their costs and for some, make a nice profit. I’m not greedy just because I want a small income when I retire. Capitalism works because someone makes a profit. I’m no fan of capitalism but its better than serfdom and we know communism doesn’t work. I was homeless in the 80’s and I believe in social housing and i believe passionately in the welfare state, it helped me turn my life around and it’s there for everyone of us if we need it. I loathe this government’s ‘bedroom’ tax and the idea of people under 35 sharing is heartless and absurd and in some cases it would be dangerous. However, blaming landlords for government policies is also absurd. At one time houses were cheap enough for one income families to afford to buy and, the greed that changed this, was nothing to do with landlords. The greediest people are the mortgage lenders and estate agents pushing house prices up so they could get higher fees, and the homeowners seduced by their house being valued so highly when in reality this didn’t make them as home owners rich because they had to live in that house – the banks were the ones who were laughing. The greed in the housing situation didn’t start with landlords and not all landlords are bad. Greed is endemic in our sick society and I fear all politicians are corrupt. So when do we collectively do something to make a difference?

    • Landless Peasant

      “we know Communism doesn’t work”, has it ever truly been tried?

    • suzie w….

      the problem is that housing market is being strangled by greed…

      many more homes should be and can be built and self built!
      is this what you would like to see…i know i would.

      the crux issue is housing..safe, secure, comfortable, healthy, affordable housing…for all…

    • I don’t see why people should have their mortgages paid by others in full when the inhabitants do not get to reap the rewards of ownership but those who equally don’t own the property (it belongs to the bank, do). It’s money for nothing and it is greed.

      Often rents are far higher than mortgages but people are not allowed to take out mortgages because they are deemed not to have the income to afford to buy, despite the fact that they pay rents which are even higher and have no alternative than to afford them. Landlords are greedy and don’t even look after their properties. What right do you have to make a profit on renting your house, just because you got lucky . Why on earth should you keep the house when you are not paying for it? It isn’t yours unless you paid outright – you just rent from the bank at better terms than those you give your tenant. The very nature of being a landlord is exploitative. How marvellous to get someone else to buy something which we then get to keep!

    • Unless the property has been bought outright or the mortgage has been paid off, most home “owners” are not owners at all, just home “buyers” & who in their right mind wants to be saddled with a debt that takes half your life to pay off.?

      • Me, if I could ever save a deposit and meet conditionality for a mortgage, as said above, it’s cheaper than renting by a good margin.
        But ill never, as long as I’ve a hole in my arse, meet either condition, so renting it is, whinging ain’t gonna change anything

  20. Yes overburdendonkey – it is what I want to see. It’s why I read this article and its what I believe in. There should be homes for everyone, we can afford it. I agree the housing market is overburdened by greed but some suggest its because landlords are greedy per se and this is too simplistic. Our society is greedy. Communism didn’t work because those in power became greedy! And I’m cynical enough to think that if we tried it again then greed would prevail again. We need a different revolution perhaps…..

    • suzie w…one thing is for certain this market driven economy, that all have inherited in one way or another, has got to go…coz the whole preservation of the built/land ownership environment as is…is plain wrong…people must always come 1st..and not the preservation of what those who control land use, have in mind….this issue is as old as time….with brief interludes of respite….govts, goading and daring us, the people, from the bottom up, to grapple with it, and solve their problems…they have to own the problem too…and find their humanity…just as clem attlee tried and failed to do…we all have to do it….and make it happen…kenyon wright had a vision for the future…can it happen i scotland? i hope so..we’ll see…

    • Landless Peasant

      “Communism didn’t work because those in power became greedy”

      Exactly my point. There shouldn’t be anyone “in power” in a truly Communist system, the people should have equal representation.

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  22. hubby and i arrived home today after spending 8 hours at my local hospital, having further tests after being diagonosed with a tumour on my pancreas yesterday, i will be having major surgery to have the tumour removed within the next two weeks, anyway letter waiting for me from my HA informing me that they are starting eviction legal proccedings from the 17th june, because i have not paid my 6 weeks arrears of bedroom tax, i phoned them up and gave them hell, i said to them
    “””can you imagine the headlines woman facing major surgery getting evicted because of 6 wks bedroom tax arrears””

    i was then told that they were very sorry for the timing of the letter and that they will contact me within the next couple days, hopefully stopping thr legal proccedings

  23. i wonder how rents can be reduced…there should rent caps and rent reduction levies….tax rents…not renters….

  24. The Nasty Party are well named push people too far and this piece of shit legislation will sure do it. Words cannot describe the contempt i feel for the Tory Govt. when we finally have thousands of homeless living on the streets i can see it now the politicians will all be to a man denying that they are not resposible for this vicious act of social cleansing and that it’s the fault of the poor for the situation they find themselves in. I can see riots on the horizon as people wil feel that that is only weapon they have left. As the Nasty Party will never listen well not unless one is a millionaire

  25. As i posted a while back some landlords regarded tenants as scumbags and wouldn5 hesitate to find any excuse to kick tenants out.

  26. The thing that parents fear about being made homeless is their children being put into care homes. And considering the history of children being put into care homes with them being abused is well founded one can even suggest as mad as it may seem that this is intentional

  27. What is it that Christopher England said ? That tenants of social housing have no right to expect homes for life as they haven’t worked hard and not got a mortgage therefore should move out ? Flawless logic …duh

  28. There may well be riots because of this, that will get our rights reduced further. Everyone in my eyes deserves a house, unless they are in prison or have done something truly outrageously bad.

  29. Thatcher brought in the Public order act and we have an army. It’s hard to have democracy in a land with an army. So there has to be another way to rebel, perhaps?
    Of course everyone deserves a home. Of course what the Tories are doing is deliberate. And there has to be another way.
    Rents are taxed – you have to make house prices & mortgages lower so that rents are lower & if they’re not lowered, then you cap them. Normal people don’t benefit from high house prices until they die and their kids inherit, but if houses keep going up in value then the cycle continues. And the bankers win.
    Bobchewie – children won’t be taken into care if you’re homeless. The authorities have a duty to put homeless families into temporary accommodation even if they’ve been evicted by a HA. The children act says children must stay with their family unless the family is causing harm to the children. It’s people without children and without a vulnerability who will really be stitched up by the bedroom tax. If they get evicted then the local authority does not have a duty to house them. These people are at risk of being on the streets. My heart goes out to them. We’re all at risk of needing welfare if our circumstances change. Please keep fighting for the welfare state and the nhs.

  30. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

  31. Suziw

    Social workers make reports stating that you have deliberately made yourself homeless by getting into debt and are therefore an irresponsible individual or parent, even have a mental illness to let this happen, and treat you accordingly by taking away children or locking you up in a mental hospital. What is really going on is not in any children’s or welfare act it is underhand tactics.

  32. And so the fallout from the ‘lie to let’ mortgage débâcle continues to rain down on the poor. Why would landlords reduce rents when they can have their pick of tenants? The only people not to acknowledge the reality are the ones who are pushing this despicable agenda. There’s no point in believing that some guy on a white horse is going to ride in and save us. All we have now is each other. Revolution? Bring it on!

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  34. a home has become, a house of equity….a pile of gold…for some and a pile of rubble for others….a home is no longer a homestead….

    just, look at the collateral damage, in the wake of hurricane maggie!

    she was warned not to mess with the housing market, and this is the result, chaos…and who is blamed for it, the sick and the poor all being scapegoated,for the destuctive policies of recent govts “policies”…inequities abound..for all of the stated truths on these pages….and as all can see set to get worse, if this is possible.

  35. An unspeakably cruel, stupid and inhumane piece of legislation, along with all the other crap these wankers have introduced. Bastards all. They have GOT to go. They MUST be held to account.

  36. Carls Dickinson

    I am very fortunate to live in ‘The Lucky Country’ Australia but I fear our country will go down the sewer also as this whole gluttonous, orchestral manoeuvre is a global conspiracy engineered to impoverish the majority and garner absolute power elite from the evil, corrupt pryamidal, tiered system channeled from the luciferian appex. Very evil structure. This abhorrent bedroom tax is but a mere wheel cog in their dastardly plans, yet this unmitigated war on the vulnerable will have devastating consequences. I hope and pray that all the good people will unite and knock this down! The minority at the top are quite terrified by the power of the numbers. May the force be with you!

    • Carls You’ve got that lovely (not) mining billionairess Gina Rinehart to contend with tho ! I know it’s a cliché but Oz is notorious for deadly reptiles! Talking of which whatever happened to Pauline Hanson a chip shop owning right wing wannabe demagogue from a while ago ? Tis the same the whole world over I fear.

      • Carls Dickinson

        yes John, those reptilian monsters are ensconced in the Oz culture too. Gina is amassing thousands by the second, and Pauline has been put out to pasture. Power is a very heady aphrodisiac indeed and is gear levering the evil machinery of the sinister bedroom tax.

  37. Dear all I am so utterly pissed off its untrue. I have been in this lunatic asylum for fucking years and finally got myself on housing register other.side of London at last. First that borough said no using localism bollocks then said yes now they have changed it back to no again using same localism shite. I don’t have connection points they say. Despite me working my guts on exactly that. My health is getting worse here every day now. The loonies are driving me mad here. The landlords a housing association have hiked the rent . Again. The council fucked up my hb. So the landlords now tell me i ow3 them 650 quid but am hoping the delayed hb will catch up. There’s a charity where I was moving to that was looking forward to my help also a friend there was keen to see me move there. Plus I took part in trying to save a British landmark there. And the council there liked. My photographic work that they used it on their website. Now they do this to me. Fucking Eric. Pickles not in my back yard bollocks. Now I am stuck and will get more ill. What’s the fucking point ? Fucked if. I know..

    • Just to add ,the rent for these 1 – bed flats is £81 per week. How can anyone on benefits possibly afford that?

      • Crap – just had a thought, when I was about 17 -18 years old 35 seemed to be ancient, middle -aged,square & boring now in the tories brave new world 35-year-olds are still just children who should still be living with mummy & daddy. What the hell is going on when adults are being treated in this purile & infantising fashion?

        • I honestly for the life of me cannot see the agenda, how there is a profit made in all of this. Yeah we have talked of poverty pimps, waiting to make money with their hostels and shelters, but they rely on benefit payments, benefits that are disappearing fast.
          How can profit be made from a cadre of homeless, a group of under 35’s squeezed in to bedsits, not daring to own anything of value for the certain knowledge the door will be off it’s hinges and their valuables in the window of Cash Generator (that goes on in homeless hostels too )
          To my thinking, a large body of pissed off people with nothing to lose is far from beaten, far from controllable, but a very dangerous thing indeed. For the last 30 years ruling bodies have been dividing and ruling, disencouraging anything where groups gather, religion, pubs, clubs, stay insular in your home, your family and work group. Demonise the different, the coloured, the sexual orientation, the land of origin, the religion.
          Soon, all these groups forced apart are gonna be thrown together, united in poverty and destitution. Then these groups are gonna get thrown together, start conversing and realise they ain’t so different .

          • But different enough to the likes of Bransons, Sugars, Byrnes, Camerons, 😉

          • ulysses…cram slaves into small space….free up housing for rich…drive up house prices..which is the right wing golden sabre, to attract votes, (will the dispossessed even use their votes?)…as you say create a “jobs fight club”….remove dignity…take what your given without complaint…no pollution of their lands with ugly extra houses/homes…keep infrastructural needs to a minimum…destroy the nhs…so one has to pay for health they profit in many ways..etc etc… 9% of the land in britain is built on! then food vouchers coz poor can’t be trusted with money, food warehouses….

            ukip leader was chased out of edinburgh…he screamed, anti-english sentiment….which i know is utter crap,and the complete opposite of the truth….from my own experience of living there, for several years…i am relieved to know that they chased this bully out of, “auld reekie”.

  38. Their plan seems to be to make the reserve army of labour homeless. They must think making us homeless will act as the ultimate deterrent to workers agitating for better pay and conditions and make people who still have a job accept having no rights, working seven days a week with no holidays, no sick pay and poverty wages to avoid freezing to death on the streets. Homeless people also have short life expectancies so it will get rid off us more quickly too. So it is win-win for them.

    Our rulers have fomented a civil war in Syria and are currently backing Al- Qaida terrorists their supposed enemy, who they are supposed to be fighting a “War on Terror” against who are committing all sorts of atrocities there, including eating people’s hearts. Then on their news channels, they do reports filled with concern and outrage at all the civilian casualties, the damage to the country’s infrastructure, the children being maimed and the families being made homeless. This is how cynical our overlords are. These are the kind of monsters that rule us. This is the kind of terrorism they orchestrate and sponsor in other people’s countries all the time to achieve their foreign policy objectives. So deliberately making us benefit scrounging scum here homeless would be nothing for them.

  39. How true R33!

  40. “Army of homeless” might be nearer to the truth than you think. What with the armed forces funding being pared to the bone, what’s to say when our stupid, mentally-challenged goverment enter into another pointless war (Syria/Iran) on behest of the men in grey suits who really run the world, that all the homeless, sick , disabled & unemployed won’t be rounded up at gunpoint & sent to the frontline?
    The ultimate workfare no less.

    • Fuckin’ try it, i say…
      I fully respect individual members of our armed forces, but i sure as shit will never work out what could possibly make anyone capable of reasoned thinking take up arms and fight pointless foreign wars for the benefit of the ruling elite and corporations of this country

  41. lord f in a recent mirror report, claims the he is not aware of any detrimental affects of the bed tax, on the health of people..if they don’t want to be poor they should get a job, he concludes…he also adds to his claim that he is not out of touch!

  42. Did you see the film of his House Of Lords Speech?

    • “Behavioural response” what does the toffee-nosed twat think we all are?
      Laboratory mice? Oh, they can get a job or take in a lodger- the former is almost impossible & the latter is a non-starter, who wants a stranger living in their home?
      Dozy, out-of-touch idiot.

      • kittycat58
        no! we are things…he said in an interview, 220000 people…of which over 60% are disabled is not a big number…which obviously begs the question, why do it then?

      • Laboratory mice? Yes, that’s exactly what we are to them, laboratory mice, that are being used in a hideous experiment devised by a gang of sadists. Taking in a lodger? Whatever extra money you get from the lodger will probably be deducted from your housing benefit and any other benefits you might be getting so you end up no better off. There’s also the problem that your new housemate might be a “single white female” and when you’ve got kids, you have to be extra careful who you allow around them.

      • Landless Peasant

        Freud is not merely a dozy out-of-touch idiot, he is an utter bastard and an evil cunt.

    • ‘Some brass neck’ doesn’t begin to describe this.
      Neither does ‘More front than Blackpool’.
      Defending the indefensible –
      We Can See You !

  43. Take in a lodger? Where the hell do you even start on that one?
    you’d need to be fucking INSANE!!
    As a young bloke i was reasonably successful, had me own gaff etc..
    I took in a couple of mates as lodgers over different periods –
    And ended up eventually coming to fisticuffs with both of em… and these were friends of mine!
    I’d be doing serious jail time if a stranger took the same kind of liberties, and with my freinds we’re only talking respecting the place and tidying as you go, here, nothing too serious- imagine what liberties someone you DONT have ties to would take?

  44. Newp…

  45. I have an interesting idea. Just need a billionaire or 2 on board to help make it happen. The idea is to build a very beautiful social housing estate as green and self-sufficient as science will currently allow, and run it privately. Instead of the ‘NO DSS’ notices, use ‘DSS ONLY’ ones (of course, getting a decent income won’t mean eviction, the requirement only applies to people wanting to move in, not tenants). I foresee this will end up with people claiming discrimination and taking the landlord to court etc, when in fact it’s no different from the NO DSS landlords. So the court would have to either defend the right to accept DSS tenants only, or change things to mean landlords can’t refuse DSS tenants. Meanwhile, the rents on this one estate will be low and stay low. Partly down to lower costs because of being green, but also because the landlord would be doing what the council should be doing, and thus would want to charge council-level rents.

    • How to keep rent low: use cheap, but strong and durable, materials. Other costs to the tenant could be kept low too if the right sort of designs are used. Solar panels and wind farms to help lower energy bills, rooftop gardens for growing a portion of tenants’ potential food intake. Some kind of recycling system that doesn’t depend on the council to implement.

  46. Landless Peasant

    Tory Councilor Glen Miller’s response to soaring homeless and Universal Credit; “If they don’t agree paying rent is their priority they will be made homeless and can’t blame Universal Credit.” = UTTER CUNT.


    Councilor Miller’s email address: glen.miller@bradford.gov.uk

  47. Pingback: More People Poor Than Ever Before As Numbers Claiming Housing Benefit Hit Record Levels | the void

  48. Landless Peasant

    A simple solution from Leeds Council:


    Will other authorities and housing associations follow suit?

  49. Pingback: Will Universal Credit lead to the improvement of rental properties. | nouniversalcredit

  50. Pingback: Over 8000 Children Face Homelessness Due To Benefit Cap … And It’s Barely Even Begun | the void

  51. Pingback: Over 8000 Children Face Homelessness Due To Benefit Cap … And It’s Barely Even Begun | Street Democracy - where it should reach

  52. Pingback: A Nasty Little Cut That No-one’s Talking About Will Demolish Social Housing For The Young | the void

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