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Everything posted by CrashConnoisseur

  1. Not if the lodger is paying rent as that will count as income for benefit purposes. The Rent-a-Room scheme only exempts the rental income from Income Tax.
  2. The LHA under-35 shared room rate only applies to Private Rental Sector tenancies. As you are renting from a Housing Association you are entitled to one bedroom regardless of age.
  3. Maybe her children can't afford to leave the nest? 'Chief executive': http://www.nottinghillhousing.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/chief-executive
  4. It is for those social tenants affected. It isn't. The LHA only aplies to the Private Rental Sector. That remains the case.
  5. Before yet another HPC Housing Benefit myth gets started, I'll point out that this only applies to social housing (Council and Housing Association). A similar restriction already applies to HB claims in the Private Rental Sector (PRS).
  6. Yes, for small rates of abstraction... 'Discover the benefits of a private water supply Today!': http://www.southcoas...on-licence.html
  7. Regardless of you considering him to be a "village idiot" which of the facts presented in his analysis do you believe to be wrong? The cost of building a desalination plant like Becton? The volume of water such a plant can desalinate? The cost of desalinating each litre of water? The carbon emissions resultng from desalinating a litre of water? The volume of water consumed by London? The cost of fixing London's leaks per litre of water saved? The case for building more desalination plants to supply half of London's water would seem to be made by these six figures. Maybe there's some other factor that he and we are not aware of and you are? Perhaps drinking desalinated water causes genetic mutations? Maybe it would result in people talking like Captain Haddock?
  8. Economically, it's more cost effective to build reservoirs or desalination plants than to fix the leaks.
  9. Up until this year it went back to the Treasury into the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) from which grants were made to Councils and Housing Associations (for several years the HRA has run a surplus which has been retained by the Treasury). Under the Localism Act rental income is to be retained by Councils who have been loaded up with large amounts of notional debt (the proceeds of Right To Buy having been retained by the Treasury).
  10. Correct. The majority of HB claimants are in social housing (Council and Housing Association tenancies). They get their rent paid in full (less any deductions for income above the applicable amount, savings, or non-dependent residents). Although social rents are lower they are rising faster (by RPI + 0.5% + £2) and almost two-thirds of social tenants claim HB. The LHA rate only applies to Private Sector Rentals (PRS).
  11. I'll stop you there. I'm not entirely sure which Broad Market Rental Areas London N1 encompasses, but the maximum LHA rate for a 2-bedroom property in Outer North London BRMA is £1,001pm and for Inner North and West London BRMA it's £1,256. Also you'd need to determine if the letting agent and landlord are willing to let to an HB claimant. The majority are not. 'Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Rates': http://www.haringey....ha/lharates.htm
  12. I've not seen one. You might like to email Alex Fenton at Cambridge University who produced the above graph (aff28 AT cam.ac.uk) and ask if the required data is available. That's a reasonable assumption. It's what I've been saying since these ill-considered cuts were announced: they will have little if any effect on the mainstream rental market. Any impact will be at the bottom end of the market particularly in areas where there is a large concentration of HB claimants. Here their effect is likely to push rents up. I say that for three reasons: 1. When LHA was introduced in April 2008 a key principle was that claimants could keep up to £15 a week of any saving if they were able to find or negotiate a rent below the LHA rate (so called Excess Payments). The coalition govenment scrapped that. Now there is no incentive for HB claimants to look for or negotiate sub-LHA rents and there's little incentive for landlords to offer them. Even the government's own Social Security Advisory Committee consider it "likely that landlords will respond by simply raising their contractual rents to the level of the LHA rate." 2. You can't fit a quart into a pint pot. More HB claimants chasing a reduced pool of affordable properties means landlords gain pricing power over tenants. An undeniable effect of the cuts is to reduce the number of landlords willing to rent to HB claimants just when demand is rising due to the recession and the effects of Right-To-Buy. Again the government's Social Security Advisory Committee consider that this "may have the effect of pushing up rents." 3. The main 'competition' for sub-LHA rentals isn't from more expensive private sector properties, it's from the social rental sector (Council and Housing Associations). For such social tenancies it's long-standing government policy to raise rents by RPI + 0.5% + £2 (this is one of the main reasons why the HB bill has risen over recent years as RPI has risen) [*]. The majority of HB claimants are in the social sector. 'The Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 2010/2835). The Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) Amendment Order 2010 (S.I. No. 2010/2836). Report by the Social Security Advisory Committee under Section 174(1) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and the statement by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in accordance with Section 174(2) of that Act ' http://www.official-...80108509551.pdf * 'Rent Setting for Social Housing Tenants': http://www.parliamen...ers/SN01090.pdf Even if the data was available that seems unlikely. There are far too many people on this forum who have no respect for facts, research, or substantive evidence, preferring instead to base their opinions on prejudice, myth, and misinformation.
  13. On the evidence so far, the biggest effect is likely to be in making people homeless. There are several misguided and uninformed posters on this forum who seem to think that the rental market is dominated by Housing Benefit. It isn't. In London, for example, 82% of rental payments (approx. £7 billion out of £8.5 billion in 2008/9) are paid from other sources of income. Source: 'The effects of housing benefit changes on London' [March 2011]: http://www2.lse.ac.u...lity/Fenton.pdf
  14. It's a net percentage based on the number of new claims. What it means is that many unemployed claimants are moving into low-paid work, but still need to claim HB. So the total number of HB claimants (both new and pre-existing) who are working is rising slightly faster than the number of new claims. For example, if there were 100,000 new claimants of which half (50,000) were working and 57,000 pre-exisiting claimants moved into work then the net result would be an additional 107,000 HB claimants who are working which would be 107% of the 100,000 new claims. These figures are for illustration purposes; I don't have the actual figures to hand.
  15. Contains some good analysis... 'Exporting homelessness – very very bad news for Shapps': http://speye.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/exporting-homelessness-very-very-bad-news-for-shapps/
  16. They're making an Olympian effort. 'Olympus sends mystery teaser in post': http://www.techradar.com/news/photography-video-capture/cameras/olympus-sends-mystery-teaser-in-post-1078144
  17. It doesn't. When a Rent Officer calculates LHA rates they are required by law to exclude rents for tenancies which are assisted or influenced by HB. Thus LHA rates are set only by reference to rents paid by non-HB tenants. 'Rent Officer Handbook - Lettings Information - HB': http://www.voa.gov.uk/corporate/Publications/Manuals/RentOfficerA-Z/l-roh-lettings-information-HB.html LHA rates are now frozen to April 2013 from when they will be adjusted in line with CPI.
  18. 'Impact of the changes to Housing Benefit announced in the June 2010 Budget' http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmworpen/memo/hb/hb72a.htm 'Leading the market? A research report into whether Local Housing Allowance (LHA) lettings are feeding rent inflation.' [september 2011]: http://www.cih.org/policy/CIHBPF-August2011.pdf
  19. Must be about time for some more austerity measures. Been working really well so far.
  20. The maximum Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for 3-bed accommodation in Newham is £259.62. 'Local Housing Allowance rates': http://www.newham.gov.uk/benefitsandpayments/housingbenefitinformationforlandlords/localhousingallowancerates.htm Clearly you haven't got the courtesy to other HPC members to do even the most basic of research before posting to the forum. The maximum Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for 1-bed self-contained accommodation in Newham is £170 a week. No. It's the people who make that accusation who are playing politics.
  21. Nothing to do with Stoke Council. The letter being reported as an example was sent to Brighter Futures, a housing charity based in Stoke-on-Trent. Brighter Futures: http://www.brighter-...es.org.uk/about It was one of 1,179 similar letters sent to a wide variety of Housing Associations and charities... 'Fed warns Newham problems are 'tip of iceberg'' [April 2012]: http://www.insidehou...6521557.article
  22. There's a very large overlap between those 'categories' and many people move between the two every month. The HB caseload for people of working age is highly dynamic.
  23. It's the ill-considered HB reduction that is helping to push rents up in Newham as claimants are being displaced from Central London. This is also increasing the number of families presenting as homeless - the problem which Newham Council is attempting to deal with here.
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