Posted on November 12, 2018
Rachman Returns ….?
The Times, (09/11/18), has been investigating Housing Benefit and reveals that Housing Benefit does not cover rentals in 95% of the country. The gap is about £100 a month across England and £900 in London, and the result, if discretionary benefit is not available, is debt, loan sharks and, eventually, eviction for the most excluded families.
As far as I know, this is one of the few recent phenomena for which Brexit is not regarded as culpable; it’s caused by a much simpler factor; landlord greed, (or market forces as it’s more politely known). Peter Rachman was a 1960s landlord with a well-deserved reputation for intimidation and exploitation of his tenants, it seems his spirit is not dead!
Universal Credit seems to be making things worse with a BBC Panorama report showing that rent arrears are up and not surprisingly, so are evictions, with temporary accommodation provided by Councils now running at a staggering £1.1bn a year. No evidence here of the polluter paying; no wonder Councils are going broke.
The answer? Either the Benefit Cap has to rise, (long resisted by the Government), or rents have to be controlled, or both, if we are to curb the return of Rachmanism and ensure excluded families avoid crippling debt and have a roof over their heads.