Wednesday, 01 July 2015

Joe Halewood's posts

  • Posted in: End in sight for toxic and corrosive "needs" based allocation system?

    Joe Halewood's post | 31/08/2010 2:58 pm

    The EHRC did some in-depth research on this last year (2009) in a report called "Social Housing Allocations and Immigrant Communities."

    The research found:

    Greater than 90% of social housing allocated is to UK born persons.

    11% of foregin nationals live in social housing yet 17% of British people do.

    It also states "New migrants to the UK over the last five years make up less than 2% of the total of those in social housing"  As the last 5 years would include the period from 2004 then this includes the A8 nationals from Poland et al.

    Interestingly there are more Germans in the UK than Bangladeshis, Jamaicans, Nigerians, Kenyans, and almost 3 times the number of Somalians (ILAG's favourite) Ghanians, and 5 times the number of Ugandans and Afghanis.

    There are more Americans in the UK than any African country with the exception of South Africa.

    So the less than 10 per cent of non UK born persons getting social housing will include Germans, Americans, South Africanss and of course not forgetting Irish, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders... and French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and a few other white peoples.

  • Posted in: End in sight for toxic and corrosive "needs" based allocation system?

    Joe Halewood's post | 31/08/2010 1:55 pm

    So immigrants dont pay taxes dont go to church and upset other (ie white British) people?

    I dont doubt it has the overwhelming support you claim, but the premises you decide to use are racist as well as errant.

    Do you (Mr or Mrs Anonymous) have any figures to show that immigrants pay less taxes than white British people?  Have any figures to show that a higher % of white British attend church than immigrants?  That immigrants have a higher number of ASBOs or complaints made against them than White British?

    To return to the question - the end is in sight?  I think not.  Local connection is part of allocation policies nationally and not just homeless legislation.  The fact its in homeless legislation actually helps the indigent population have a priority over immigrants by local connection being applied - a simple yet bloody obvious point that those who rail against needs based approaches.

    Changes to how local connection is prioritised in allocating properties is a real thorny issue.  Allocation policies have to be written and interpreted and also have to accord with the law, whether that be 1996 Housing Act or lest we forget the Human Rights Act.  To give actual priority to whte British people over non British is racist however you look at it and whether you agree with it as it discriminates against people on the grounds of race.  Local councils will be in court every 5 minutes if they try and implement such a policy, and rightly so.

    This is a non-runner

  • Posted in: Cost to the State of the 3.3m social tenants on HB: £12B. Is this VFM?

    Joe Halewood's post | 03/08/2010 2:46 pm

    Peter, no i dont agree.

    "Do you agree with my explanation then Joe?

    The model has to some extent disappeared into the ether, yes. House prices are much higher, which means that mortgage payments are higher which results in a higher rent being required to cover costs and produce a return on the investment.

    With so many PSL's actually being just ordinary people who have decided to invest in property rather than the stock market for their pensions, reducing the maximum rent on properties once they have been paid for is likely to discourage PSL's from holding onto the asset"

    I agree in parts of the country such as the capital as this is obvious given the excessive land prices.  Yet, if the model had disappeared we wouldnt be seeing ever increasing PSL properties coming onto the rental market and claiming HB/LHA. 

    The figures I have in front of me from the SHBE (the official figures) detail from Nov 2008 with 1.054m PSL properties having HB in payment to 1.448m in April 2010.  Thats a 38% increase in 18 months and demonstrates that more and more PSLs are coming into the marketplace - a staggering amount that shows the model has not disappeared into the ether at all.

  • Posted in: Cost to the State of the 3.3m social tenants on HB: £12B. Is this VFM?

    Joe Halewood's post | 03/08/2010 12:58 pm

    Anonymous? - So that same model is now redundant is it?  Of course it isnt so why cant it be followed today?

    Or has that model disappeared into the ether then?

  • Posted in: Cost to the State of the 3.3m social tenants on HB: £12B. Is this VFM?

    Joe Halewood's post | 03/08/2010 12:06 pm

    Has anyone come up with a reason why regulated private tenancies can survive and presumably make a profit when they get less HB than RSLs?

    After all they have no subsidy at all do they!  So why are non-regulated LHA private tenancies charging the public purse so much more? Well i say so much its only 49% more!!!!

    The above are simple questions of fact and not of political opinion at all.  They dont concern any public subsidies either and so they expose the profiteering rip-off that non-regulation PSL HB/LHA costs are.  They also expose as false the arguments that PSL costs are dearer due to social housing subsidies.

    Finally any notion of VFM should include cost benefit analyses.  Public subsidies are there and derive public benefits.  Stability, affordability and incentives against worklessness, not forgetting the reduced social and health care costs all of which are much reduced with unregulated private tenancies.

    But the obvious question is why can regulated private tenancies make a profit at 50% less funding than unregulated private tenancies? 

    Methinks the elephant needs to trample the Meerkat - Simples! - Compare the Market anyone?

  • Posted in: Cost to the State of the 3.3m social tenants on HB: £12B. Is this VFM?

    Joe Halewood's post | 02/08/2010 5:02 pm

    That is the link to the official statistics which has just been upgraded to include April 2010 (last ones and ones given above were March 2010 figures)

    The council average HB payment has gone up 42p per week; HAs gone up 41p a week; and PSLs gone up 49p

    Hence the percentages given above are all largely the same.  Almost 28,000 more claimants of which more than 20,000 are in PSLs (interestingly 75% of new claims coming from PSLs!!)

    The total HB figure becomes £20.862bn per annum

    Can any of the apologists for PSLs out there say how regulated private tenancies cost HB just £76.10 per week yet LHA ones andnon- LHA ones cost £113.38 and £103.94?

    Surely if regulated private tenancies can be profitable at £76.10 on average per week then there is no need to charge the state £37.28 more (49% uplift) - This makes a mockery of the PSL apologists statements on here claiming that PSLs need to charge more due to social housing subsidies.

    Hence if the other no regulated PSL rents were at the regulated level the public purse saving is £2.546bn per year.

    Regulate PSLs - a huge elephant in the room wouldnt you say?

  • Posted in: Cost to the State of the 3.3m social tenants on HB: £12B. Is this VFM?

    Joe Halewood's post | 02/08/2010 3:04 pm

    Lets first of all get the correct statistics - the official ones not the DM ones.

    Numbers - Council tenants -1.517m HAs 1.77m - total social tenants 3.288m - Private tenants 1.428m

    Costs average per week - Council £67.44; HA - £77.02 (social av - £72.60); Private - £109.25 average (LHA = £112.94, non LHA = £103.65)

    Total social housing HB cost  is £12.457bn pa for 70%

    Total PSL cost is £8.141bn for 30%

    The total HB bill is £20.6bn and the PSLs take 40% of this yet account for 30% of the supply. 

    Social housing takes 60% of the take yet accounts for 70% of the supply

    So to answer ILAGs direct question, social housing is undoubtedly VfM when compared to the PSL provision.  Correction is it more cost-effective and as it provides greater stability, greater quality of provision and greater security it is much greater VFM than its PSL equivalent.

    Another way of lookiing at this is if all properties were rented at the (PSL) market rate the cost of the HB bill would be £26.9bn rather than £20.6bn or about 30% more (all for an inferior product and service lest we forget!)

    I dont know where DM got the average of £69 per week as this is false.  The average in all social housing is £77.02 - the PSL average is £109.25 and the overall average - of HB in payment figures) is £83.74

    All the above figures come directly from the DWP figures published on Wed June 16 in the SHBE

    One very interesting stat in there which shows the extent of profiteerog by PSLs is the private regulated tenants costs.  Only 50,370 of the 1,428,080 such tenants remain and their average regulated rent is £75.91 per week whch is LOWER than the average HA rate of £77.02 per week.

    So it appears that when the PSLs are regulated and their rent levels covered by regulation they can provide cheaper than RSLs!! 

    The elephant here is clearly regulate the PSLs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Posted in: The end of full HB for all?

    Joe Halewood's post | 16/07/2010 4:03 pm

    An article on the Guardian website late yesterday has shed some light on one of the HB proposals in the budget.  Specifically the change in LHA paid when moving from the 50th percentile down to the 30th percentile.

    The data in the spreadsheet put actually figures to this in 152 BMRAs across the country and makes really scary reading as it seems full HB is a thing of the past and all tenants will have to use some of their benefit or pension to pay their rent - yes ALL.

    Ive quickly computed the average figures of the actual HB reductions and they are:

    1 room (bedsit) - 8.14% cut 

    1 bedroom - 6.82% cut

    2 bedroom - 7.04% cut

    3 bedroom - 7.59% cut

    These average cuts to HB above are before and additional to any other caps and cuts such as the 10% JSA issue.

  • Posted in: intimidated by tenant

    Joe Halewood's post | 07/07/2010 7:28 pm

    Yes you should immediately inform your manager and just as you inform tenants to keep diaries (asb etc) and keep contemporaneous notes, you should do the same. 

    It is also common practice for any tenant that has been abusive in the past to have a 'red flag' on their notes - ie that HOs dont go out singularly but in pairs - Im sure your landlord will have a lone worker policy that is written specifically for such situations.

    In terms of being seen as 'weak' while i understand where you are coming from, verbal assaulot is still assault and doing nothing about it could potentially see you disciplined fro puttign yourself at risk under H&S policy.  Yes that sounds bizarre but i have known cases where such measures have been taken against staff as withholding the dangers put them and others (staff and tenants at risk).

    Finally the importance of taking contemporaneous notes of any similar situations protects you, other staff and tenants too.

  • Posted in: Whistleblower exposes chancers and cheats who abuse social housing

    Joe Halewood's post | 07/07/2010 12:06 pm

    No surprise with the Daily Mail article but you would think the National Housing Federation would get it right wouldnt you?

    In a news release yesterday with the main thrust being that 200,000 more people are at risk of homelessness - a point many see - they said the following:

    "An unemployed, single and childless person in London, with a weekly rent bill of £350, would see their Housing Benefit cut by £35."

    Given that the cap has been set at £280 the 10% cut is irrelevant as the HB / LHA would go down by £70 which they would struggle to pay out of their £65 pw JSA!!

    [Is the 10% JSA cut on top of this does anyone know by the way?]

    Apart from getting this completely wrong which is bad enough for the NHF, its hardly a good example to highlight is it? Does Osborne or IDS's former spin doctor work there by any chance?

    NOTE - This was posted elsewhere yesterday and is very relevant too

  • Posted in: Whistleblower exposes chancers and cheats who abuse social housing

    Joe Halewood's post | 07/07/2010 12:04 pm

    Thankfully the mega rich megalomaniac duplicitous fraudster Dame Shirley Porter had a whistleblower too - to expose another extreme and one that was proven in a court of law.  Thankfully, the courts dont take much notice of hearsay from anonymous sources in the Daily Mail.

    Im sure many tenants take the p**s, many of these may be non-white too, yes im just as sure its the Daily Mail reading, Tory leaning PSLs who are taking the p**s out of the HB system more than the tenants!

  • Posted in: Worklessness

    Joe Halewood's post | 30/06/2010 11:18 am

    The term "worklessness" needs to be applied to understand its malevolent intent in creating that term.

    There is no better topic that the HB cap and cutting proposals in which those who are "workless" are being blamed for the state paying some very unscrupulous profiteering private landlords £50k a year in HB.

    The HB cuts (or alleged cuts) are all aimed and quite rightly so at reducing the burgeoning HB bill.  Yet why blame tenants and in particular workshy or workless tenants for private landlords holding the state to ransom.  Worklessness is a very convenient term to use for blame yet the HB bill is rocketing because of the scarcity of social housing and the private landlords coming in to meet demand and charging the earth for it.

    As i've said elsewhere its not the odd thousand or so London HB tenants that make the HB bill increase, its the 70% extra they charge nationally over and above what councils charge - £109pw rather than £65pw in the latest official national figures.  Over 1.2m people per week at £45 extra is the real cause of the HB bill spiralling not the isolated few at £5ok per annum.

    Worklessness was designed and invented to be used as a convenient scapegoat and also to shift blame away from central government (of any persuasion) for their role in creating jobs and the conditions for work.

    We will always have some people who take the mickey out of the system and who are reluctant to work or even hell bent on not working.  Im not making any excuses or apologies for them and they are a parasitic element.  Yet they are not to blame for the HB bill spiralling - that is due to a much bigger parasite - the massively profiteering private landlords that nobosy is pointing the finger at because "worklessness" makes an easier target however erroneously the reality.

  • Posted in: The World Cup

    Joe Halewood's post | 04/06/2010 4:42 pm

    Which all begs the question what is acceptable or not?

    Is it ok to recall the Sun's notorious headline of "Kill an Argie and win a Mini Metro" and amend to this "World Cup" thread?

    Or even quote De Gaulle when he stated there is no room in the farmyard for more than one cock?  (i didnt see Harry Lime's removed post but if the French President can deride the English????)

    I am of course just recalling what others have said here and (in)famously said.  That way holds no slander or defamation cases from being taken against me, who like John posts under their own name.  Perhaps that is why Harry Limes post has been removed as we can assume that Harry Lime is a pseudonym (and shouldnt the Third Man comment only on cricket?)

    Yet following that principle the ILAGs (who openly refuses to state who he is) does write very racist comments on here along with the "John Bull's" of this world post such comments and are not removed.

    Level playing field either way would suit and in my view even these views I call racist here, and however despicable they may be, are freedoms of speech however misguided.  Makes the post of Harry Lime being removed as highly selective and hypocritical in the extreme

  • Posted in: Housing Associations & Freedom Of Information

    Joe Halewood's post | 09/04/2010 10:44 am

    They are two separate issues.

    In July last year the Ministry of Justice said that HAs are not subject to FOI requests in the same way as councils. After the Weaver case ruling the MOJ said they will look at this again. Or simply, the decision on whether they are to be subject to FOI requests is a political one.

    HAs are however likely to be seen as public bodies in law unless they can differentiate themselves from L&Q (the HA in the Weaver case) in some way.

    And yes they should be subject to FOI requests

  • Posted in: House Proud

    Joe Halewood's post | 05/03/2010 11:47 am

    Just like Scotland benefited from North Sea oil you mean...or will we see the same reality as this revenue paid for massive tax cuts for the highest rate payers (83% down to 40% overnight I recall) partially offset by a doubling of VAT overnight which all had to pay...Re-promoting RTB is far more likely and other politically motivated voting incentives will abound if this oil revenue ever comes on line

  • Posted in: When is a Housing Association not a HA?

    Joe Halewood's post | 11/02/2010 2:41 pm

    in an article on here from April 2009 Anchor announced they are withdrawing from the National HOUSING Federation

    "Anchor Trust and Housing 21 argue that the NHF’s remit is too narrow to accommodate their expanding work in social care. They now plan to work in coalition with organisations which they describe as more closely allied to their aims than the NHF, such as Help the Aged and Age Concern, which merged this week."

    Hence this is probably a subtle repositioning of Anchor within its new intended markets, that may become the 'socail charity' sector?

  • Posted in: termination of tenancies

    Joe Halewood's post | 20/01/2010 5:31 pm

    The CAB letter may well be correct in law as to repudiation, yet as the tenant failed to notify the landlord of any such repudiation (and enjoyed the benefit of the tenure with the keys and unfettered access) then i cant see how this holds. Moreover, if the tenancy ends when the tenant repudiates it as the CAB have claimed, the date of repudiation must be when the tenant informs or notifies the landlord of that repudiation. Until that time the tenant has to be liable.

    Yet, the landlord seemingly became aware in February 2009 (though why it took 5 months is a mystery - was rent still being paid?) If so how can the tenant repudiate the tenancy 7 months or 12 months after they vacate it? Further what ‘right’ did the tenant maintain over the property – or what do CAB claim is that right?

    Ordinarily, if we assume that the landlord became aware in February 2009 that the tenant had vacated, then presumably the landlord would have served a 28-day abandonment notice on the property at that time. Hence the landlord may be responsible for the council tax from 4 weeks after this Feb 2009 date. Yet it took the landlord a further 7 months to change the locks!

    This sounds like a mess.

    In overview, the tenant failed to inform your department he had left, and rather than looking at Housing Law, is there not a condition in CTB regulation that says a recipient of CTB or a payer of CT has a duty to inform CT of any changes. If there is and I suspect this is the case, then until the tenant notifies you of their change in circumstances then surely they are responsible under CTB regs for the council tax, irrespective of the strange inactions of the landlord here.

  • Posted in: Housng Officers Unreasonable Criticism of Medical Professional

    Joe Halewood's post | 14/01/2010 1:09 pm

    Do the TSA have a remit to deal with such problems and complaints? I doubt it and like any of the Ombudsman services they will likely require that you exhaust the internal complaint procedure of the landlord as a first step.

    A few points. If a consultant offers to write a professional opinion as to your health or other condition, take it up and forward to your landlord.

    Secondly, if you have a verbal conversation with a housing officer as above, then as soon as possible after the conversation put the conversation in writing and submit to the landlord asking them to confirm that this is their view. [This avoids the I dont recall that conversation scenario].

    Thirdly, putting any request in writing is a good idea generally. Keeping a copy of all of these helps too. State your views and any facts without as emotiveless as possible - avoid name calling etc.

    Fourthly, always request a copy of the complaint policy and procedure of the landlord. More often than not, complaints are more likely to be upheld if the landlord doesnt follow their own procedures than on the actual merits of the case. In simple terms showing they didnt follow procedures is easier to prove than the substance of the complaint.

    Finally, check who can deal with the complaint. While the Ombudsman services usually will want you to exhaust complaint procedures of landlord, there are some circumstances in which they can deal with complaints without this (if person involved is particularly vulnerable etc.) Councillors, MPs, external auditors (waste of public funds line) and a few others external to the landlord may have a remit to look at any complaint.


    Joe Halewood's post | 13/01/2010 2:21 pm

    Local Government Ombudsman can only look at 'maladministration' see this taken from their web page

    The law says the Ombudsman must look for ‘maladministration’. The definition of maladministration is very wide and can include:
    • delay
    • incorrect action or failure to take any action
    • failure to follow procedures or the law
    • failure to provide information
    • inadequate record-keeping
    • failure to investigate
    • failure to reply
    • misleading or inaccurate statements
    • inadequate liaison
    • inadequate consultation
    • broken promises
    The Ombudsman does not usually criticise the merits of a decision which has been properly taken simply because someone may disagree with it. He or she will however look at the way the decision was made

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