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The Queen’s speech

 
May 28th 2015
 

The first Conservative-majority government since 1992 have announced their legislative agenda for the upcoming year. A new Housing Bill was among the 25 proposed and follows through on some of the most controversial election pledges.

Margaret Thatcher’s right-to-buy scheme will be extended to 1.3 million housing association tenants in England. Tenants that have lived in their properties for three years or more will be offered discounts worth up to £102,700 in London and £77,000 in the rest of England. The process would, the party promises, be used to build replacement affordable homes on a one-for-one basis.

The housing consensus view is that the extended right-to-buy will further weaken an already shrinking social housing sector. Henry Gregg, Assistant Director of Campaigns & Communications at the National Housing Federation, said: “This policy is not a genuine solution to our housing crisis. An extension to the right-to-buy would mean that housing associations are working to keep pace with replacements rather than building homes for the millions stuck on waiting lists.”

Since the Housing Act in 1980, social housing has dwindled from about a third of all homes to barely a fifth, and experience suggests the ‘one-for-one’ promise is far from certain. The housing sector is seeking to fight the proposals with concerns that a generation of young people will consigned to living in overpriced new homes that won’t be at ‘social’ but at ‘affordable’ rents (80 per cent of market rates), and poor quality rented housing.

Another announcement was the abolition of housing benefit for 18–21 year-olds on Jobseekers Allowance. Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, called it a “disaster for thousands of young people”, adding: “For many young people, living with their parents simply isn’t an option. Housing benefit can be all that stands between them and homelessness. It can mean keeping a roof over their heads whilst they look for work or get their lives back on track. Far from helping them, taking this support away could make it even harder for them to find a job.”

Young people without a stable home will find it much more difficult to search and apply for jobs: at best they will be constantly changing location; at worst they will be sleeping rough. Neither situation is conducive to motivation and focus. The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said the cut will affect about 20,000 young adults and will save only around £0.1 billion.

 
 
 

 

Contents

New arrivals hit the streets

Soup Run Forum

Web only: Emergency Islington shelter remains open during sub-zero temperatures

Chairman of the board

Rest in peace - in memory of lost friends

Prince poses

Starter pack boost

Wearing a jacket to beg?

Teens found guilty of killing Ralph Millward

The Passage withdraws service "as a last resort"

New learning centre for Glasgow

iHobo game causes controversy

Auckland extends ban on rough sleepers

Homeless interrogation

Affordable housing development opens in Edinburgh

Who decides?

Credit unions

New counts are optional

Nobby on stage

I will never forget you, my people

London homeless services in limbo over ?Ǭ£3.28m cuts

Disused night shelter re-opened for winter months

Coventry Cyrenians forced to cut services

London hub success for new rough sleepers

Crisis Skylight in Birmingham - a year on

Residents look ahead to staff upheaval

Midland Heart report

Labour call for hefty council tax levy on empty homes

Stik pic for the American Church

Lottery grant means new opportunities

Mungo?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s launches women?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s campaign

Homeless people forced into slavery

Homeless couple marry in Australia

Number of homeless in Southend underestimated

Basic banking for all

NSNO expands into west London

Scottish homeless applications drop by 19 per cent

Miami cannibal

Invisible People film UK homeless

The demilitarised zone in North America’s drug war

2012 - the year of the right to permanent accommodation in Scotland?

Crisis at Christmas

The Pavement is recruiting

Rough sleeper donates $250 to charity

Food voucher scheme scrapped

Commemorating friends and companions

Human rights for all

First person: Gemskii on regaining control of her life

The shades come off

Upfront: spikes

Comment: Spikes are the least of your worries

Opinion: All up in smoke?

Heartbreak Hotel, episode 4.

The Pied Piper of Housing

March for the Homeless

Being homeless doesn't mean you can't vote on May 7

The vulnerability ruling

The Queen’s speech

Criminalising homelessness

116-bed hostel for young homeless to close in Southwark

Sponsor a bed and rebuild a life

Hipsters neutralise anti-homeless spikes

What the Brexit will happen now?

Anti-homelessness protesters threatened with eviction, jail by Manchester city council

Showing our impact

Rebirth

The birth of the North Gower Action Group

A pianist, an artist, a dog called George and a new homeless app

Living water

Midwinter blues?

Councils back change in law to tackle rising homelessness

Having problems with your JSA?

Mayoral hustings on homelessness

Skippering

A major step in reducing homelessness?

Liverpool Police homeless curb beggars belief

Charity begins at home?

Legal aid charade

Surviving the streets – by those who've done it

Stop the scandal

Glasgow homeless services at risk

Bill gives councils legal duty to stop homelessness

Homeless Grenfell survivors afraid of deportation

Remembering those who have died in the past year

 

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