Here are the edited ‘lowlights’ of Leicester City Council’s ironically named Rent Arrears Progress report.
EVICTIONS – 68 people evicted at a cost of just under £395,000 (Shelter ‘Immediate Costs to Government’ paper).
– The number of evictions has risen by 61% from 42
– Attempted ‘this is not solely the result of bedroom tax’ defence. Although true it IS a combination of the bedroom tax, the reduction in Council tax support (meaning people have to pay at least 20% of their bill) and a rent increase of 3.2% and service charge increases of 3%.
ARREARS – There is a steady increase of those struggling with rent payments.
– Total arrears owing to the council is equal to that which they reduced max council tax allowance, 20% (pay less rent to pay the extra council tax? Anyone?)
– Those in serious arrears (7wks or more) are now 30% higher. 1944 people in total.
– Despite figures showing tenants were already struggling LCC still implemented a rent increase (the next quarterly figures should be VERY interesting)
On an interesting note for those of you under-occupying your home and using the DHP fund:
– If you aren’t bidding you won’t get any more assistance.
– For the 80% of you unwilling to move and in difficulty with rent more robust measures will be used to means test your eligibility for DHP payments, e.g. if you have sky/internet/mobile phones you may not be eligible for extra housing payments.
In a nutshell the basic message was ‘we aren’t as bad as other local authorities’.
I concur, this isn’t as bad as other authorities… but It’s as far from ‘progress’ as could be.