Monday, 25 July 2016

Cameron rent claim attacked by sector

The prime minister’s claim that rents have been reduced as a result of his government’s welfare reforms has been disputed by sector figures.

David Cameron was asked a question by Labour MP Joan Ruddock at prime minister’s questions today about plans to increase the age limit for the shared accommodation rate, which is based on the amount of rent for single room in a shared house, from 25 to 35 years.  

Mr Cameron said: ‘What we have seen so far, as housing benefit has been reformed and reduced, is that rent levels have come down, so we have stopped ripping off the taxpayer.’

The claim that rents have fallen was immediately questioned by figures in the social housing sector. Abigail Davies, assistant director of policy and practice at the Chartered Institute of Housing, tweeted: ‘I’m wondering what data David Cameron is using to support his claim that rents have fallen due to housing benefit reform.’

The CIH has used National Valuation Office Agency data to calculate that local housing allowance rates have increased or stayed the same since March 2011 in 853 out of 960 local authority areas in the UK.  LHA rates are based on market rents.

Department for Work and Pensions data does show a fall in average local housing allowance awards, from £114.07 last March to £112.01, but Ms Davies said this is not the same as rent, it merely means less is being claimed.

Mr Cameron’s claim that housing benefit has been reduced has also been disputed.

Joe Halewood, housing consultant, said: ‘The facts prove Cameron has misled parliament with this statement.’

Mr Halewood pointed to DWP statistics showing that housing benefit claims have increased by 182,580 since May 2010, adding £1.5 billion to the benefit bill.

Readers' comments (17)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

Related

Articles

  • Cameron pledges to transform 'worst estates'

    11 January 2016

    The government is set to regenerate up to 100 housing estates in England, David Cameron announced yesterday.

  • Cameron: 'Public' associations must improve

    16 September 2015

    David Cameron has warned housing associations they “must improve their performance” and find efficiency savings, branding them “part of the public sector”.

  • Cameron announces measures to speed up development

    11 September 2015

    David Cameron today announced plans to sell off publicly owned land with pre-approved planning permission, as part of a range of measures aimed at speeding up development.

  • Sector lobbies on Right to Buy and rent cut

    2 September 2015

    The financial straits housing associations are facing due to Right to Buy and the social housing rent cut has dominated submissions to a parliamentary inquiry on the future of the sector.

  • Helm gets judicial backing in claim

    10 August 2015

    A High Court judge has ruled that a £9.75m valuation on land bought by 5,500-home Helm Housing Association was riddled with errors and failed to take key market information into account.

IH Subscription