Housing Joint Ownership (Council and Tenant)

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This is a solution that focuses on a particular section of people. Those who are claiming Housing Benefits.

The current situation is as follow; from my personal experience anyway:

·        When claiming Housing Benefits, the Council would pay a percentage towards rent and the tenant pay the rest. For example, 75% of the rent is paid by the council and 25% paid by the tenant.

·        If the tenant’s income increased, the percentage paid by the tenant would increase. Thus, there is no real gain for those on low-income families. Hence there is no motivation to try and earn more, as the more you earn the more you will pay rent and hardly anything left to feel there is a change of income. Why should you work harder, if no change is felt? You cannot blame them I guess.

·        The other point is, when paying rent, both parties, the Council and the tenant are losing their money. In a time when both parties are struggling with fund.

·        If the government would change the Housing Benefit scheme or introduce a new system based on the idea of joint ownership. Instead of paying rent, both the council and the tenant would take out a join mortgage. The tenant would buy whatever percentage he can afford, in our example, it is 25 %.

 

This would have the following advantages:

1-     Both parties are not LOSING money, but rather, are INVESTING.

2-     There is a real reward and progress in one’s life. This would actually encourage families on low income to passionately look for ways to earn more and better their lives. As they feel that there is a real incentive to doing so. Rather than people are forced to look for work through Universal Credit. This is a real motive for those who are trying hard to better their life but do not see a real return, as with Housing Benefits, the more you earn the more you end up paying towards rent.

3-     This would also encourage out of work people to take simple or low paid jobs, or even part time-jobs. People would not consider this type of work only because of the fact that the little money they earn will simply be offset from one’s Housing Benefits.

4-     Self-employed workers who claim Benefits and go through loopholes or with the help of accountants, to avoid paying taxes, would have a real incentive to declare their income so that they can buy a percentage. Whether we like to admit it or not, many of the self-employed workers on benefits would not genuinely declare everything. We can argue that the government is trying and implementing new rules and all that, but, rather than policing people, give them a real incentive.

5-     This scheme would not require new fund. Simply use the housing benefit fund.

This is only to set out the general lines of this idea. I am sure the right people would be able to improve upon it and perfect it. I am a simple citizen who is trying to make a difference.



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