Of course, as well as the 5% deposit these lucky people owe the government 20% of the price of the property, as well as the 75% they owe to the mortgage provider. Although the government loan is interest free for the first 5 years, after that there’s a sting in the tail which includes an annual payment which will increase each year above the level of inflation. Unlike a mortgage payment, where you know what you owe, if the value of the house increases then so will the money the buyer will owe the government. You might describe it as a mortgage debt escalator. When you sell the house or reach the end of the mortgage term the tenant will have to hand over 20% to the government, whatever the value of the property. The government press release has the audacity to call this “supporting responsible lending”. When interest rates rise many of these people may find themselves in difficulty. Around one third of households are spending over a third of their income on housing, and that is with historically low interest rates. Add to the mix a decline in the value of wages and rising prices and you have a potential social disaster. More
November 19, 2013
November 11, 2013
Download a PDF of this article here petitiondebate
Swindon Tenants Campaign Group‘s petition on the ‘bedroom tax’ was presented to, and discussed by Swindon Council at its recent meeting on November 7th . The petition, which collected 2,298 signatures, called on the Council to press the government to repeal the ‘bedroom’ tax and to make a commitment that they would not evict tenants thrown into financial difficulties by it. It also said that the housing crisis could only be addressed by Council house building rather than by policing tenants and bedroom numbers.
STCG Chair Brian Shakespeare spoke in support of the petition. Richard Hurley, Lead member for housing responded, after a fashion, for the ruling Conservative administration. Steve Allsop moved a Labour proposal that the Council write to the government calling for the repeal of the ‘bedroom tax’. The two Lib Dems present supported Labour, but their proposal was lost by 2 votes – 25 to 27. In the absence of the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor voted for the Labour proposal. One independent who would have voted against the bedroom tax was absent, and one Labour Councillor left before the vote. If they had been present it would have been a tied vote. Which way the absent Liberals would have voted is anyone’s guess.
November 11, 2013
Each succeeding housing initiative of the coalition government has been declared a resounding success. This is their version of evidence free policy. Alas, the latest Housing Statistical Release from the Department of Communities and Local Government shows a continuing decline of ‘net supply of housing’ in England. Annual Housing supply amounted to 124,720 net additional dwellings in 2012-13, an 8% decrease from the previous year. This marks the third year in a row that the numbers have declined under the coalition government.
The net additions are determined by adding together new build homes, conversions (e.g. conversion of a house or building into flats), change of use (e.g. a shop into a house, or vice versa), demolitions and other changes to the dwelling stock. Table 1, below, shows the number of annual net additional dwellings from 2000-01 through to 2012-13. As you can see in the last year of the New Labour government 144,770 net additional dwellings were added to the stock. Each succeeding year has seen a decline in their numbers, a decrease of 13.83% on the 2009-10 figures, and a 31% drop compared to 2008-9. Compared to the last pre-crash year the decline is almost 100,000. More
November 10, 2013
You can download a PDF of this here hapstcgsubmission
Swindon Tenants Campaign Group is calling on the Council to abandon the proposals
- to introduce fixed term tenancies for new tenants
- to set income thresholds for the Housing List and tenancies
- to force all new tenants to move homes on the basis of the ‘bedroom standard’
- to remove Band C from the Housing list.
We are calling for the maintenance of ‘secure tenancies’ for all tenants, existing and future ones, and the continuation of Band C of the Housing List.
Let’s look at the likely consequences of these proposals which don’t appear to have been thought through. More
November 1, 2013
Swindon Tenant’s Campaign Group‘s ‘bedroom tax’ petition will be discussed at next Thursday’s (November 7th) Council meeting. It calls on the Council to press the government to repeal the ‘bedroom tax’ and to make a commitment that nobody thrown into financial difficulties by these regulations will be evicted. A colleague from Walsall who read about this on our website has informed us of the discussion which took place on Walsall Council on this issue.
In April, Walsall Council, including the Conservative Councillors, unanimously voted for a resolution calling on the government to scrap the ‘bedroom tax’. The Tories are the largest Party on the Council.
Subsequent to that, on July 8th a resolution was moved calling on all social landlords in the Borough to “give assurances that they will take no eviction action, against any of their tenants, solely as a result of arrears resulting from the imposition and impact of the ‘bedroom tax’.” All Councillors, Tory, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Independent voted in support of the resolution.
So what’s stopping the Conservative Councillors in Swindon?
Walsall Council has no housing stock since the Council homes were transferred to ‘Walsall Housing Group’.
October 31, 2013
Swindon Tenants Campaign Group Media Release October 31st 2013
‘Bedroom Tax’ petition to be heard at November 7th Council meeting
Swindon Tenants Campaign Group has collected 2,298 signatures on its ‘bedroom tax’ petition (see the text below). The ‘bedroom tax’ or ‘under-occupation’ regulations penalise tenants of working age in receipt of housing benefit who have one or more ‘spare’ bedrooms. Whereas they previously had their rent covered by housing benefit, they now have to pay 14% or 25% of it.
STCG’s petition calls on the Council to press the government to repeal the ‘bedroom tax’ and to make a commitment that they will NOT evict tenants thrown into arrears as a result of having deductions from their Housing Benefit. More
October 31, 2013
This is a letter to the Swindon Advertiser, published in today’s paper
Swindon Tenants Campaign Group is calling on tenants and anybody concerned with the housing crisis in the town to tell the Council to abandon its proposed changes to its Housing Allocations Policy. Despite the fact that existing tenants are unaffected, all the tenant groups in the town are opposed to introducing a two tier system. We don’t see why new tenants should be treated worse than existing tenants. That’s one of the reasons why we are calling for the continuation of ‘secure tenancies’ for existing and future tenants. More