The Citizens Advice Bureau has warned that the UK is "on the edge of a serious housing crisis" after releasing data on the increase in cases it has dealt with relating to rent arrears and threatened homelessness.
Social housing tenants are facing an increased threat of homelessness, the Citizen's Advice Bureau has warned, after cases of rent arrears cases reported to the charity rose 13 per cent from July to September this year.
Citizens Advice warned that despite growing confidence in the UK's economic recovery, households are not yet feeling the benefit of the improved economic outlook.
It suggested that the impact of the Under-Occupancy Penalty, combined with changes to Council Tax support, has contributed heavily to rent arrears problems
Instances of Citizens Advice Bureaux advising clients about Discretionary Housing Payments, to help people pay their rent, have more than doubled in the six months since April this year when the charge for under-occupancy was introduced.
Effectively the outcome [of what is proposed] is to reduce the stock of properties for lower income households, many of whose communities have lived there forever, in favour of an inflated, overseas, money driven housing market.
It's a process of erosion, quite dramatic erosion, because we would be getting rid of another third of all social housing from these communities over the course a decade... properties that already exist.
I've been determined that we get Britain building and help the thousands of families who for years have been left languishing on social housing waiting lists.
That's why we've introduced radical reforms, including investing £19.5 billion public and private funding into an affordable housing programme set to exceed expectations and deliver up to 170,000 homes, and giving councils the flexibility to offer fixed-term tenancies to new tenants to ensure the precious resource of social housing goes to those in greatest need.
On top of this, councils looking to sell vacant social housing can now keep the receipts to invest in affordable housing, regeneration or paying down housing debt in their area.
And the reinvigorated Right to Buy is helping existing council tenants realise their dream of home ownership with increased discounts of up to £75,000, and for the first time a commitment to replace additional council homes sold with new affordable homes for rent on a one-for-one basis nationally.
Expensive social housing is costly, unpopular and unfair. That is why almost everybody rejects it.
Social housing tenants deserve a roof over their heads but not one better than most people can afford, particularly as expensive social housing means less social housing and so longer waiting lists for most people in need.
– Alex Morton, report author 'Ending Expensive Social Tenancies'