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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2010): Social housing - UK

90,000 in 'inherited' council homes

H. Watt and R. Winnett

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 19th 2010, p.1

Figures disclosed under a Freedom of Information request show that more than 90,000 people are living in council houses 'inherited' from their parents or other family members, even if they would not have qualified for social housing on the basis of their own circumstances. Ministers are now thought to be preparing to close the legal loophole that allows tenants to pass on their properties after their demise.

Cheats sublet 50,000 council homes

M. Evans

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 27th 2010, p. 4

An investigation by the Audit Commission has suggested that at least 50,000 council homes are being sublet illegally by tenants. The fraud is hampering efforts to house homeless families, with councils forced to spend almost 1bn per year on temporary accommodation.

Housing plans will backfire, ministers told

R. Ramesh and others

The Guardian, Oct.29th 2010, p. 1

Government housing reforms have been under attack on multiple fronts as council home associations predicted they would backfire by driving up the overall welfare bill and London Mayor Boris Johnson warned of Kosovo style social cleansing. David Orr, the chief executive of the National Housing Federation said 'because it is based on near market rents, the new funding model will trap thousands of tenants in welfare dependency because they will simply not be able to earn enough money to pay for their homes without the support of housing benefits'.

(See also The Guardian, Oct 29th 2010, p. 6 and The Independent, Oct. 29th 2010, p. 4)

How far can the residualisation of council housing debate be applied to the private-rental sector in Northern Ireland?

P. Gray and U. McAnulty

Policy Studies, vol. 31, 2010, p. 523-538

In recent years there has been a considerable expansion in the demand for, and supply of, private rental housing in Northern Ireland. The sector is increasingly playing a pivotal role in the supply of social housing. There has been an increase in the number of low-income and vulnerable groups, who would traditionally have sought to become social housing tenants, residing in private rental housing.

Social housing reform causes coalition rift

P. Wintour

The Guardian, Oct, 26th 2010, p. 8

Plans to cut housing benefit for the long term unemployed are causing concerns among Liberal Democrat MPs, including deputy leader Simon Hughes, who believe they are draconian and will not be passed by parliament.

(See also The Independent, Oct. 28th 2010, p. 4)

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