For a seventh year #HousingDay points out the best form of Community Investment across the UK.
Today a 24-hour social media event celebrates the positive impact of social housing on millions of tenants.
#HousingDay seeks to promote the excellent work both social landlords and residents are doing to support communities across the country. It plays an important role in raising the profile of the social housing sector and ensures the voices of residents across the country are heard.
The theme this year is
Community Investment and it comes in a time when it’s needed the most.
The global financial crisis of 2008 or in other words - the most drastic economic downturn since the Great Depression - was the reason behind the campaign of budget-cutting that the British government began in 2010.
Nearly a decade of austerity in the form of over 30 billion pounds in cuts to welfare payments, housing subsidies and social services has refashioned the British society, and its impact keeps on spreading destructive consequences all over the UK, slashing away at budgets for policing, housing and healthcare.
Between 2013 and 2017 the use of food banks almost doubled.
Homelessness has tripled, leaving over 300,000 people on the street.
Compared to 2011, 60% more people are living in emergency shelters.
All of this led to the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) 2017 implemented on 3 April 2018.
The HRA was one of the biggest changes to the rights of homeless people in England for more than 15 years. Its duty is to prevent and relieve homelessness across the country and its main goal is to guarantee that no one will have to live on the street by 2027.
According to Leslie Channon, a housing and tenancy engagement specialist and one of the #HousingDay event organisers, it’s about time for the community investment to be taken seriously as a core part of a social landlord’s mission in a way that makes it more widely understood, and must be moved back up the list of priorities.
Kate Reynolds, a group head of external affairs at Sanctuary, said:
Housing Day celebrates the positive impact of social housing across the country. And the theme this year – community investment – is one that links strongly with our mission and charitable social purpose.
Housing Day gives us all the opportunity to be the change we want to see in society. Creating a change, which helps communities in a good way doesn’t always mean hard cash, it’s often a little that goes a long way with local people working together to make incredible things happen.
We help communities find the good things and build on these to maximise the potential and all together we are making a difference.
According to Kate Reynolds, community investment is a tool to empower communities, amplify their voices and can even change the lives of the people for good.
For more information about October the 8th, you can use the Twitter hashtag #HousingDay or follow @housingday.
What is a housing association and how it can help you?
Austerity measures and the lack of affordable housing have made the life of thousands of people across the UK unbearable, so the help of the housing associations unavoidable.
But then what exactly is a housing association?
Long story short, it is a not-for-profit organisation which owns, lets and manages rental housing. The only difference is that in this case all of the acquired revenues through rent are ploughed back into the acquisition and maintenance of the property.
Housing associations are classified by the property industry as
registered social landlords and the accommodations owned by them are known as
Housing associations were developed with the aim of making accommodation available and affordable for everyone. Often they are utilised as an alternative to council-owned housing and you can refer to them through your local authority as well.
In England the executive non-departmental public body responsible for providing homes and business premises for those that need them is The Homes and Community Agency.
Elsewhere in the UK, this function is performed by the Scottish Housing Regulator, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Welsh Assembly.
There are 1,500 housing associations in England alone, which provide around 2 million homes for over 5 million residents, overseen by more than 30,000 volunteer committee members.
Housing over 50,000 people, the Peabody Trust is one of the biggest housing associations in Greater London.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) is the trade association for social housing providers in England. Its main goal is to provide good quality homes and most importantly affordable ones for every citizen of the country.
You can download this pdf and read all about their three-year business strategy for the period 2019-22.
What would make you eligible to rent housing association property?
Don’t forget though that The Federation is not able to advise on individual suitability or eligibility for the schemes, so the first thing you should do is to find the social housing providers in your area on the Homes & Communities Agency website.
Although most of the people who live in the UK are eligible for a council or housing association homes, this fact alone does not guarantee an allocation.
Affordable housing is in really short supply in the UK, and there is high demand for the available homes, so the citizens who need an accommodation the most because of medical reasons, harassment or significantly low income have priority.
All you need to know about The Universal Credit
Universal Credit is a monthly social security payment to help with your living costs if you are on a low income or out of work.
You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
- you live in the UK
- you’re on a low income or out of work
- you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
- you’re under State Pension age (or your partner is)
- you and your partner have £16,000 or less in common
Other Terms include that:
- Your eligibility for Universal Credit is not affected by the number of children you have, but it may affect how much you get.
- If you live with your partner - her or his income and savings will be taken into account.
- You and your partner can claim Universal Credit as a couple even if one of you is under State Pension age. When you both reach State Pension age, your Universal Credit claim will stop but you may be able to apply for Pension Credit or other benefits.
- You can claim Universal Credit while studing if you’re in
non-advanced education(for example studying for A levels or a BTEC National Diploma), are 21 or under and do not have parental support.
- If you’re employed, there’s no limit to how many hours you can work, but your Universal Credit payment will depend on your earnings - for every £1 you earn, your payment reduces by 63p.
- You can earn a certain amount before your Universal Credit is reduced if you or your partner are either responsible for a child, a young person or are living with a disability or a health condition that affects your ability to work.
- If you receive money to help with housing costs, your Work Allowance will be £287 per month and in case you do not, your Work Allowance will be £503 per month.
You can not claim Universal Credit if you are:
- not a British or Irish citizen
- living outside the UK
- living permanently in residential care or a nursing home
- a prisoner
- a student
- or on strike
You can not claim Universal Credit if you are currently receiving any of these benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit
- receiving or being entitled to a severe disability premium
- *In case there is a change of circumstances that affects the severe disability premium or your other benefits, report it and you’ll be told what to do next.
What do you need to apply for Universal Credit?
- your bank, building society or credit union account details
- information about your housing
- details of your (and eventually your partner’s) income
- details of savings and any investments, like shares or a property that you rent out
- details of how much you pay for childcare - if you’re applying for help with childcare costs
- existing benefits and pensions (including for anyone living with you)
- outgoings (such as rent, mortgage, childcare payments etc.)
- council tax bill
We hope that this article was of some help to all of you who are struggling with the terms and conditions of the Housing Associations and the Universal Credit.
We'll be happy if you share your experience in the comment section below.
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