Earlier this week we submitted a response to the London Assembly’s Housing and Regeneration Committee’s review of the future of London’s private rented housing.
The Committee is seeking to identify what is required to ensure tenants in the private rented sector have standards of housing equal to those found in the social rented and owner occupied sectors – decent conditions, security of tenure and affordable housing.
In our submission we argue that both rent controls and increased security of tender are necessary to address the problems that exist in the private rented sector, especially for low income tenants and those in receipt of housing benefit.
For example if tenants had increased security of tenure, they could enforce their rights without the fear of being evicted. As time passed and the worst offending landlords realised that they could no longer shirk their responsibilities, they may become more proactive about maintenance and emergency repairs, thus reducing the need for enforcement at all.
You can read our full submission here.
NextDoor Project Manager Romin Sutherland has written an article for the bi-monthly journal of the IRRV’s Benefits Advisory Service. Click below to see it as it appeared in the magazine. Continue reading
The following statement will be sent to Peers considering the Welfare Reform Bill. Please sign it below no later than the 7th of January. Alternatively if you are an NGO and would like to add your name, inform us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To Peers considering the Welfare Reform Bill.
A statement opposing benefit caps in London.
Writing on a blog last week for the website Public Finance Dr Patrick Nolan, chief economist at leading think tank Reform, has strongly criticised the coalition government’s Welfare Reform Bill.
He calls for what he describes as “expensive and poorly thought-out” reforms to be immediately abandoned. Not enough attention has been paid to how the Universal Credit will be delivered and, it is argued, this lack of detail is likely to lead to expensive mistakes down the line.
He rightly acknowledges that as the scheme is proposed it is likely that many will be trapped in a cycle of dead-end, low paid, unskilled jobs as there is no incentive to find secure, skilled work. However he fails though to point out the inadequacy of Job Seeker’s Allowance and the Minimum Wage to provide a healthy lifestyle, inhibiting both job seeker’s ability to find gainful employment and many workers from lifting themselves out of poverty.
This very real problem faced by many of Britain’s poorest and their dependents, who make regular decisions about whether to eat or heat their homes, will not be solved until the Department of Work of Pensions considers the health of those on poverty incomes and the Department of Health considers income.
For more evidence on the shortfall between these poverty incomes and a minimum income standard, see Z2K’s response to the DWP.
In January we held an Energy Awareness Conference in association with Consumer Focus. The event brought advice agencies and energy suppliers together to discuss consumer support and protection. The slides and the report is available below.
We’ve had some great feedback and are beginning to consider how we can continue to develop these relationships, including through the formation of an advice agency group that meets regularly with the industry to discuss issues and how to strengthen processes to help consumers. Please email email@example.com if you are interested in participating in the group. Continue reading