Posts with tag: housing association UK

Upcoming change to housing allowance not enough to help tenants

Published On: January 14, 2020 at 9:35 am


Categories: Tenant News

Tags: ,,,

Last year we shared the news that the Government plans to end the freeze on housing benefits. However, there is concern that this may not be enough to help tenants.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) believes that many tenants might still be left unable to afford their rent.

This concern follows the announcement that from April the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will increase by inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. The RLA points out that the Allowance has been frozen since 2026. Therefore, this rise of around 1.5% is bound to leave tenants considerably out of pocket.

The LHA was introduced in 2008 in order to calculate housing benefit for those living in private rented accommodation. Prior to 2016, the LHA was based on enabling a tenant to afford to rent a home in their area. It was calculated that 30% of homes available should be cheaper and 70% more expensive. 

We’ve all seen how rents have moved in different areas over the years. Some have had steeper increases than others, instead of a flat rate increase. Because of this, the RLA is calling for the LHA to again be based on this 30th percentile level.

John Stewart, Policy Manager for the RLA, has commented: “The benefit level needs to reflect the realities of the level of rents locally. Given rents have risen by an average of 5%, and in some areas more than that over the last 4 years, a rise of 1.5% in the benefit level is not going to be much help to a tenant struggling to afford the rent in those areas and many others.

“If it really wants to help tenants, the Government should restore the direct link between rent levels and the LHA instead of a paltry flat rate increase.”

Housing Association in Salford Funds Community Projects

Struggling community projects in Salford have been given thousands of pounds worth of funding by housing association, Salix Homes.

A total of 31 Salford-based schemes and initiatives received a share of £37,500 during the Your Salix, Your Say event.

Now in its fifth year, the event provides the opportunity for community groups to bid for funding of up to £4,000 to help finance the worthwhile causes that improve the area.

Housing Association in Salford Funds Community Projects

Housing Association in Salford Funds Community Projects

On Saturday 27th June, the competing bidders met at St Sebastian’s Community Centre in Lower Kersal, where they could vote for the projects they believed should receive the cash.

St Joseph’s School Gardening Club in Ordsall collected the most votes on the day, winning £1,110.

This project provides a vegetable garden and growing area for pupils at the school, who grow their own fruit and vegetables and learn about healthy eating. They will use the money to buy a much-needed greenhouse.

School administrator, Alison Campbell, who runs the club, says: “We are absolutely delighted to have won and it’s going to make such a difference to the club and give us a real boost.

“We will be buying a greenhouse, which will elongate the growing season and mean the children can grow fresh produce all year round. The benefits of teaching children how to grow their own vegetables are enormous; they often take the products home with recipe cards or we cook it together in school. Plus, the children have so much fun out in the garden that they don’t even realise they’re learning.”1 

In the young people’s category, aspiring footballers SAYO FC, who train at Fit City Clarendon, received the most votes, winning £428 that will go towards transport for away games.

14-year-old player Luke Adams comments: “We play in the Bolton and Bury League and we struggle to afford transport for away games, so this will really help us. We are buzzing to have won.”1 

Other winners include the Grown in Brought ‘On’ project, which accepted £2,550 for an observational beehive at their community growing site on Heath Avenue, Lower Broughton and the Seedley and Langworthy in Bloom group, which received £3,500 for their annual floral display.

The Your Salix, Your Say fund is made up of savings from within the housing association as well as external sources. It empowers communities to decide how the money should be spent.

Chief Executive of Salix Homes, Lee Sugden, explains: “At a time of scarce resources and budget cuts in Salford, our Your Salix, Your Say grant can be a lifeline for many struggling community projects, but the fantastic thing about this grant is it allows the people of Salford to decide where the money should be spent, which is something we believe in wholeheartedly.

“It’s wonderful to see just how dedicated some people are to improving their communities for the benefit of others and we are very proud to hand over this well-deserved funding, which will help sustain projects and initiatives that can make a real difference to an area and the lives of residents.”1