Sunday, 7 November 2010

What's the cost?

I was reading another blog regarding the changes to the cost of affordable housing in the future.

The blogger was a Bristolstolian. often we here how these changes effect people in the cities, but these changes to affordable rents will cause real difficulty to people in our part of Somerset.

I have written before about the huge 60% cut in the capital grant for new affordable housing outlined by the new coalition government for the coming period.

Having conducted a little research it would appear the 'Market rent' here in Mendip are;
  • 1 bedroom property = £108 per week
  • 2 bedroom property = £142 per week
  • 3 bedroom property = £185 per week
  • 4 bedroom property = £229 per week

The new coalition governments policy is for housing associations to generate their own cash to build new 'affordable' homes, this term affordable appears to mean 80% of the market rent.

So in the Mendip District, Flourish homes, a part of the Aster Group, are the largest supplier of affordable housing, there is no council housing.

Flourish home rents are published as;

  • 1 bedroom property= £68.47 a week
  • 2 bedroom property= £75.65 a week
  • 3 bedroom property= £86.80 a week
  • 4+ bedroom property= £97.52 a week

This does not include existing tenants of housing associations, as they remain on existing renting arrangements, but as soon as housing assocations properties become available, new tenants will paid at the new 'affordable' rents and they will be;

  • 1 bedroom property= £86 an increase of over £17 a week
  • 2 bedroom property= £114 an increase of over £28 a week
  • 3 bedroom property= £148 an increase of over £62 a week
  • 4 bedroom property= £183 an increase of over £86 a week

This to be coupled with the permanent tenancy for life to be ended, so higher rents with less housing rights.

This weekend I note the Bishop of Bath and Wells speaking out about his concerns of the rural communities becoming more impoverished, he stated that ending council housing for life will be a real problem in rural areas, he is right as there is not the availability of housing for people to move onto.

The other point he makes is if you want to create the 'big society' people need to feel secure to contribute in their communities, I want to live in a 'good society', not social attitudes from a victorian view of social housing and welfare.


  1. Chris

    The points you make are good ones, but you have to agree that something clearly needs to be done about the situation with regards rogue landlords.

    Landlords, especially in the Cities and fashionable Town are abusing the housing benefit system and charging out their properties at exorbitant rents, knowing the tax payer will pick up the bill.

    Surely this is a good way of at least trying to bring some of them back into line. Once the government says it's not going to pay what the Landlord wants, either the Landlord drops the rent or the property goes empty. Ultimately, the rent will drop because the Landlord cannot afford to have the property empty for any length of time.

    I digressed somewhat from your original point but I believe that the 2 are linked.

  2. I believe the real problem is the lack of affordable house building, if supply matched demand, then private landlords could not charge as much, but I think some cities across the world have rent caps, probably a better way to go.

    Thanks for the comment