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The Approach of the City of Manchester to Welfare Reform To : CWAG Mark Slater City of Manchester Strategic Housing.

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Presentation on theme: "The Approach of the City of Manchester to Welfare Reform To : CWAG Mark Slater City of Manchester Strategic Housing."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Approach of the City of Manchester to Welfare Reform To : CWAG Mark Slater City of Manchester Strategic Housing

2 An Introduction City Leaders recognise that Housing is a fundamental contributor to economic growth and has a role in ending our dependency culture The analysis has been used to give emphasis and direction to our housing strategy It is also articulated through the Greater Manchester Strategy and City Deal Slide 2

3 Largest population growth outside London Slide 3

4 Population Population per Census 2011 503,127

5 Population Change Increase in the natural population Long term trend of in-migration Projected growth in population to 2031 of further 18%, including: -Increase in 60-64 age group -Increase in age groups below 29 years -Out-migration 30-59 age-group

6 Accommodation Total of residential units of accommodation at 1 Jan 2014 = 221,591

7 Tenure Change 2001 to 2011 Social housing fallen 3.3% to 38.5% of tenure Owner occupation fallen 7.8% to 31.6% of tenure Private renting has risen by 11.9% to 26.9% of tenure

8 Tenure Change

9 Manchester Tenure comparison

10 Neighbourhoods need to be rebalanced Concentrations of social housing Poor quality private rented sector Spatial impacts of Welfare Reform = risk We have both fragile and the v successful Slide 10

11 Supply of Social Housing – reducing picture Ten year trend is of a reduction in turnover of our 67,300 homes available for letting … Recent turnover 2009/10 was 6.9% Turnover 2012/13 was 5.7% Anticipated Turnover 2013/14 is 5.6%

12 New Registrations for Rehousing ( Demand) Trend for increase in applications for social housing tenancies continues …rate running at about 29,000 applications per annum for this year Marked increase in requests for transfers by existing social housing tenants since early 2013 = welfare reform

13 Live applications To Manchester Move (Demand) Manchester Social Housing Register has remained broadly constant at c 19,000 applicants in the past year Increase in applicants in urgent need has not been caused by requests from “under occupiers” to downsize

14 Under-occupation ‘hot spots’

15 Numbers effected by Bedroom Tax Northwards Housing “under occupiers” affected by bedroom tax have reduced 500 since 1 April to 2703. This is in part Revs/Bens identification of overnight carers and the late legislative changes that allowed us to add an extra bedroom in respect of disabled children or fostering. Also a number of tenants have chosen to downsize or found other solutions

16 Will tenants actually downsize? a cautious approach ( whilst waiting for evidence) Principle adopted by Council and its Partnership is to proceed cautiously and be evidence led Support via interim amendments to prioritisation of lettings in Allocations Scheme Council Executive of 29 May gave delegated powers to operate this flexible approach

17 Rehousing Prioritisation from 1 June 2013 We are prioritising applicants who wish to downsize who are of working age and claiming Housing Benefit To be given a backdated award of twenty years if they are in Band 2 or 3 and at the discretion of their landlord. Housing management undertaking will be made by the tenant with the landlord that the tenant will do everything necessary to find a smaller property

18 Outcomes to 1 Jan 2014 Northwards have made 94 transfers to downsizers in seven months Agreements have been made with 265 other tenants to downsize per policy

19 Collecting Rent payments 2012/13 It was a priority to maximise rent collection in the Council housing stock. We achieved a collection rate of 99.8% in 2012/13 Rent Arrears rose in 2012/13 in the Council stock by 0.08%

20 Collecting Rent payments 2013/14 Council rent debit received directly from Housing Benefit reduced by 4.2%. Gross Council rent collection fallen by 1.3% to 98.5% of debit Percentage of rent collected from “under occupiers” was 96.5% Helped by DHP of £140,000 ( 0.3%)

21 Direction of Travel – Universal Credit Considerable uncertainty about Universal Credit start makes planning difficult Staff trained and aware to extent possible Watching the DWP/NFA Univ Credit preparation strategy Risk = rent collection Pilots suggesting 30% of all tenants benefit claimant will default Risk = Pilots only collecting around 92% of gross rent debit

22 Welfare Reform and Citizens Advice enquiries Increases in requests for advice on debt issues throughout 2013 to become 21% of all enquiries Housing enquiries increased because of bedroom tax Northwards report increased levels of enquiries for all types of assistance

23 Benefit Cap Have 42 households who are benefit capped Each household has been contacted and advice offered and given All referred to YES project Reputational problem for Council and Northwards = don’t want to evict but households have to engage

24 Other Northwards Activity Money Advice services has increased with personal debt and benefits issues 50 % increase in workload at the drop in sessions Do four regular surgeries Partnership with the Manchester Credit Union Flexi-loan schemes Northwards and also promote the SmarterBuys Store

25 Other Northwards Activity - YES YES is the Northwards social enterprise for Manchester residents to find local jobs and take advantage of training and volunteering opportunities up to 40 plus customers per day Partners inc Careers, Money advice, Blue Orchid and the Manchester College

26 Questions and discussion Slide 26

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