Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Private Rental Scourge

Private Rental Scheme
Private Rental Scam
Private Rental Scourge

Oh many things these past two years I have called the Private Sector and the Government/Council policies to place homeless families there because there's not enough social housing and the alternative is hostel accommodation... well everyone knows that's not suitable apart from the System which says it is. Oh and ignorant people in our society - the sort to comment negatively on articles that I write...

I went to the Housing Benefit office to tell them of my rent increase.
I'd gone to the Citizen's Advice Bureau in order for them to do a 'better off calculation' of my new wage and the woman there told me to clarify my rent as priority.

Housing benefits came into effect on April 1st
There is a discretionary sum of money that has been given to councils (a lib dem contribution to the Tory plan the woman told me) that allows the individual a nine month transitional period before they have to pay the whole shortfall of rent.
How they allocate that money is up to them, the council.

Housing benefit told me that these new rules only apply to private tenants.
Housing Associations operate differently. They have a rent officer who sets the rent and that is accepted as suitable and relevant by the housing benefit office (that must be new as some will no doubt chase the 80% market share they've newly been allowed to set...)

I am very very lucky (kind of) but I have told you this before.
Homeless families who are on the Private Rental Scheme, what is going to happen to them? Will they be allocated a discretionary sum? What happens when that stops?

On the points system, they, not me, get awarded extra points for insecurity should they be evicted but it's my guess an awful lot of them are going to be losing their homes and it is my knowledge that there aren't the council properties/housing association properties to go round.

Housing benefit man actually suggested that I rent somewhere in the private sector and I might be more secure than in my three lease temporary housing association flat.

"Where oh where, could I find somewhere to live near my son's school?" I asked, almost rhetorically. "I won't be able to. The private sector cap is too low."

He shrugged, palms outwards then gently said I could go, there were other people to see; "We're very busy at the moment."

I mustn't think about the future.
My son and I are safe right now
I hope my son and I are safe
I put tomorrow's date on Clegg's letter
I'll send it signed for delivery
at some point during the day
(I'm scared he won't act on it
more than I'm scared of being used as a political pawn
things are that bad, in my view)

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