Election 2017: What if I can’t afford to pay the rent? – BBC News

Election 2017: What if I can’t afford to pay the rent? – BBC News

click photo for more information
Election 2017: What if I can’t afford to pay the rent? – BBC News
“It’s not a living wage if you cannot afford to live anywhere on that wage.” Where can I afford to live? BBC Calculator Shortfall According to the housing charity Shelter, there are now half a million people in the UK in the same situation as Nadine: people who have jobs, but who still have to […]
Image caption Nadine Masseron has two jobs but it’s still not enough to pay her rent

“Every year the estate agent tries to put up the rent by 50 a month. Every year I go through that, begging, pleading, ‘please don’t’.”

But even at its present level, Nadine Masseron – a single mother from Wokingham in Berkshire – cannot afford to pay her rent.

To make ends meet, she borrows money on a credit card. She has 6,000 of debt as a result.

She works full-time as a sales manager for a health supplements company, with a second job as a natural health consultant at weekends.

“They call it a living wage. That doesn’t make sense. That is a bare-faced lie,” she says.

“It’s not a living wage if you cannot afford to live anywhere on that wage.”

Where can I afford to live? BBC Calculator

Shortfall

According to the housing charity Shelter, there are now half a million people in the UK in the same situation as Nadine: people who have jobs, but who still have to borrow money for the rent.

That amounts to one in three renters who are on low incomes, Shelter says.

Nadine earns around 1,500 a month, but rent and council tax alone take up 1,057.

Despite claiming housing benefit, tax credits and child benefit, there is always a shortfall at the end of the month.

She wants the next government to introduce significant change: rents that can only rise in line with the National Living Wage, housing benefit that covers the rent, and more security of tenure.


Conservative promises

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Increase security of tenure for “good tenants”
  • Encourage landlords to offer long tenancies as standard
  • Reduce rents by building 1.5m new homes by 2022
  • Promote more council houses, with Right-to-Buy after 10-15 years

Conservative manifesto


Image copyright Kate Stanworth
Image caption Longer leases would give tenants more security, says Tracy Strassburg

Tracy Strassburg – a mother of two boys from Nunhead in south-east London – has an even bigger shortfall in her finances.

Her freelance job as a yoga teacher provides her with 640 a month.

Yet the rent on her small two-bedroom flat is 1,400. Even with housing benefit of 946 a month, she is still left borrowing 300 a month from her mother, as well as using credit cards.

“It’s really stressful. A few days before rent day every month I start to go into a panic,” she says.

But the stress is not just because of the finances.

Since landlords sometimes want their property back, she has been forced to move repeatedly.

In his lifetime, her seven-year-old son has had six different homes, each more cramped than the last.

“Every time we move, we have to downgrade, because the rent goes up, and we have to move down,” she says.

“So we started off in a perfectly acceptable sized house, and we’ve gone slowly, slowly down into this tiny little place.”

She wants the next government to introduce five-year leases to give tenants more security.


Labour promises

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Rents can rise only with inflation
  • Three-year tenancies the norm
  • New standards to ensure homes are fit for habitation
  • Reinstate housing benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds
  • Build more council houses
  • Suspend Right-to-Buy policy

Labour manifesto


‘2.79 a week to live on’

In two years’ time, new rules on housing benefit come into effect for social tenants that will make things even harder.

New claimants who are single and under 35 will only qualify for the shared accommodation rate (SAR) of housing benefit. In other words it is assumed they will live in a shared house or flat.

This rule already exists for private renters.

As a result, according to a new study by Sheffield Hallam University, some 12,500 young tenants in south-east England will see a shortfall between their benefit payments and their rent, typically of 55 a week.

Those under 25 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) would be left with just 2.79 a week to live on, it claims.

But the government has said the change is necessary, as part of attempts to reduce the 25bn a year spent on housing benefit. And it has pointed out that councils do have the power to make discretionary payments in cases of hardship.

None of the parties has committed to reversing this policy.


Liberal Democrat promises

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Rent rises to be inflation-linked
  • Cap for upfront deposits
  • Rent-to-own model, giving tenants ownership after 30 years
  • Tenants get first refusal to buy property when landlord sells
  • New loans to help first-time renters under 30 with a deposit
  • Reverse cuts to housing benefit

Liberal Democrat manifesto


Image caption Lindy Hamilton worries that the new SAR plan will result in people becoming homeless

Thirty-year-old Lindy Hamilton, a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Swindon, is worried about the new shared accommodation rates.

If her income were to drop, she says she could suffer a disproportionate cut in housing benefit of around 40 a week.

“I would really struggle to be able to stay in my home,” she says.

“This would create a monthly deficit of 160 in rent which, if I couldn’t cover it, would result in me losing my home and being made homeless.”

She would like the next government to tackle rising rents, and unscrupulous landlords who rent out properties that are not safe.

“I would also like them to take another look at the shared accommodation rate plan which is undoubtedly going to result in people getting into rent arrears and even becoming homeless.”

The Sovereign Housing Association, which commissioned the Sheffield research, says it may have to consider subsidising rents for those under the age of 35, or else stop housing people in the younger age group altogether.


SNP promises

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Likely to promise reintroduction of housing benefit for 18 to 21-year-olds
  • The Private Tenancies Bill, passed last year, already provides increased security for tenants
  • Rents can already only be increased once a year, and with three months’ notice
  • Letting agency fees already outlawed

The full SNP manifesto will be published on Tuesday.

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39974177

So? Immigration officials say they’ll deport illegal who killed Kate Steinle

click photo for more information
So? Immigration officials say they’ll deport illegal who killed Kate Steinle
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the man found not guilty of murdering Kate Steinle, had been in a San Francisco jail before her killing but was released despite a federal request that he be held for his sixth deportation. That’s right — his sixth deportation. But now that he’s been found guilty of possessing a firearm […]

Would You Let Trump Run Your Company?

click photo for more information
Would You Let Trump Run Your Company?
In Washington, people struggling to come to terms with figures from the corporate world, luring Rex Tillerson from Exxon Mobil Corp. to run the State Department and a string of Wall Streeters. The stock market initially boomed. Trump’s message to business has been simple: Finally you have an executive in charge of the executive branch. […]

Smoking In Cars With Children Is Illegal Starting October 1, 2016

click photo for more information
Smoking In Cars With Children Is Illegal Starting October 1, 2016
#1 No More Smoking In Cars With Children Theres a new law aimed at protecting children from secondhand smoke, and if you are caught, the fine is going to be up to $80. On October 1st, it will be illegal to smoke in cars that have kids in them. #2 Thousands Of Chemicals When a […]

WOW: Michael Moore’s excitement about Rachel Maddow’s big Trump scoop stopped on a dime

click photo for more information
WOW: Michael Moore’s excitement about Rachel Maddow’s big Trump scoop stopped on a dime
Michael Moore was pretty excited about Rachel Maddow’s teaser for her big scoop on Donald Trump’s taxes: Turn on Rachel @Maddow! MSNBC! — Michael Moore (@MMFlint) March 15, 2017 Until something didn’t quite go as he hoped, at which point… Clearly the source of the "leaked" return is Trump himself. 10-20 missing pages w/ key […]

Amanda Seyfried Is Pregnant With Her First Child!

click photo for more information
Amanda Seyfried Is Pregnant With Her First Child!
Amanda Seyfried is going to be a mommy! On Tuesday, the Mean Girls actress attended the Givenchy press launch for their new Live Irrsistible fragrance where she announced she is expecting her first child with fianc Thomas Sadoski. Related:

Huntingtons breakthrough may stop disease

click photo for more information
Huntingtons breakthrough may stop disease
Some patients described it as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and motor neurone disease rolled into one. Peter Allen, 51, is in the early stages of Huntington’s and took part in the trial: “You end up in almost a vegetative state, it’s a horrible end.” Huntington’s blights families. Peter has seen his mum Stephanie, uncle Keith and grandmother […]

Looking At Your Own Poop Could Actually Keep You From Getting Sick — Here’s Why

click photo for more information
Looking At Your Own Poop Could Actually Keep You From Getting Sick — Here’s Why
little kids. Even if you don’t talk about poop as openly as some people do, it’s important to know what your waste is telling you about your health and wellness. Thankfully, there’s a useful infographic to help us if we ever have any questions or concerns about our poop. Check it out below! One of […]

Carrie Fisher had one simple and hilarious request for her obituary

click photo for more information
Carrie Fisher had one simple and hilarious request for her obituary
Image: Jonathan Short/Invision/AP Carrie Fisher will forever dazzle the world with her wit and humor, even in her obituary. Fisher died on Tuesday at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles last Friday. The news is heartbreaking, and many remembered Fisher for inspiring both young […]

‘I’ve been through worse’: War-hero McCain tells Senate pal he’ll be back

click photo for more information
‘I’ve been through worse’: War-hero McCain tells Senate pal he’ll be back
Sen. John McCain, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, told Sen. Lindsey Graham over the phone Wednesday that hes been through worse, and then went on to discuss health care and other policy issues. McCain, R-Ariz., talked about the long road ahead regarding treatments, but said that he has been through wars. […]

This Interactive Map Sums Up The Damage Caused By The Anti-Vaccination Movement

click photo for more information
This Interactive Map Sums Up The Damage Caused By The Anti-Vaccination Movement
Vaccinations are one of the of most incredible aspects of modern medicine. They can make previously lethal diseases disappear from society and save countless lives. There is, however, a chance that the vaccines work a little too well and our collective memory is too short to remember the devastating effects some of these diseases caused […]

Veteran Jumps to His Death at V.A. Hospital

click photo for more information
Veteran Jumps to His Death at V.A. Hospital
A former employee and patient killed himself at a facility with a long history of inadequate care. PHILADELPHIA  A military veteran seeking psychiatric treatment walked out of a waiting room at the Veteran Affairs medical center in Philadelphia and jumped to his death from its parking garage Thursday morning. Gary Dorman of Mount Vernon, Pennsylvania, […]

6-Year-Old With Rare Bone Disorder Dances With The Rockettes

click photo for more information
6-Year-Old With Rare Bone Disorder Dances With The Rockettes
Few people could tear all the eyes in the room away from the stunning Rockettes while they’re performing; six-year-old Audrey Nethery is definitely one of those people. The young girl was first noticed by the public when her mother uploaded a video to Facebook of the youngster enjoying one of her favorite pastimes: Zumba.  The […]

This Is How You Really Love Someone Through Depression

click photo for more information
This Is How You Really Love Someone Through Depression
The phrase ‘love yourself before someone can love you’, doesnt apply to people who have depression. Because more than anything they are learning how to love and accept themselves. But sometimes, it takes following someone elses lead to get there. What people fail to address is the concept of truly being loved by another person […]

People can’t get enough of this new organic, vegetarian fast food.

click photo for more information
People can’t get enough of this new organic, vegetarian fast food.
When you think about fast food, what comes to mind? If you’re like me, you probably start salivating as you imagine greasy burgers, gloriously deep-fried onion rings, and calorie-laden milkshakes. Yum. Basically, this. Image via Thinkstock. A new fast food restaurant in California is aiming to broaden that image by introducing a vegetarian option. Andy […]

Dude’s pic with Paul Ryan promptly enters the trolling hall of fame

click photo for more information
Dude’s pic with Paul Ryan promptly enters the trolling hall of fame
On Saturday, Twitter user @minnysconsin tweeted a photo of himself with House Speaker Paul Ryan at a Kiwanis Club fundraiser in Wisconsin. It seems, though, that Ryan did not notice (or just ignored) this man’s T-shirt, which reads “Repeal and go f*ck yourself.” (It’s from the Pod Save America podcast merch page, BTW.) SEE ALSO: […]
load more posts