Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shapps Reports on the 'New Homeless'

One of the Conservatives' busiest politicians over the Christmas period has been Shadow Housing spokesman, Grant Shapps. He's going to hit the headlines this morning with a report which claims that nearly half of us are concerned about meeting our mortgage repayments during 2009. YouGov Research for a pamphlet called THE NEW HOMELESS, which Shapps is publishing today reveals...

  • 44% of mortgage holders are worried about being able to meet their payments over the next 12 months.
  • Nearly half (47%) of Local Authority and Housing Association tenants are worried about being able to meet their rent payments over the next 12 months.
  • Over two fifths (41%) of private renters are worried about being able to pay the rent over the next 12 months.

The report concludes that for the first time, people from right across the socio-economic spectrum believe themselves to be at equal risk of repossession or inability to pay rent; regardless of whether in social housing, the private rented sector or owner occupiers. Shapps told me last night...

Over the past year the Conservative Homelessness Foundation has worked with our Advisory Panel which consists of all the leading housing charities and it has become clear that the prospect of homelessness is on the rise. What this report and YouGov data reveals is that the prospect of homelessness is suddenly a very real and alarming prospect for millions of hard-working Britons who have never before believed themselves to be at risk of losing the roof over their heads. Unfortunately this government's response has been a myriad of confusing, and often contradictory, small scale announcements which have done little to reassure hard-pressed families.
This is obviously a delicate political issue. The Opposition can't appear to revel in this at all. What they need to do now is show how they would differ from the Government in their response to the problem. The Shapps report is a good start.

18 comments:

Dick the Prick said...

Not all of us. From the annals of Electro-Kevin. Funny.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8X_FdGUxbQ

yellowbelly said...

Shapps told me last night...


Over the past year the Conservative Homelessness Foundation has worked with our Advisory Panel which consists of all the leading housing charities and it has become clear that the prospect of homelessness is on the rise. What this report and YouGov data reveals is that the prospect of homelessness is suddenly a very real and alarming prospect for millions of hard-working Britons who have never before believed themselves to be at risk of losing the roof over their heads. Unfortunately this government's response has been a myriad of confusing, and often contradictory, small scale announcements which have done little to reassure hard-pressed families.

This is obviously a delicate political issue. The Opposition can't appear to revel in this at all. What they need to do now is show how they would differ from the Government in their response to the problem. The Shapps report is a good start.

===

It would be even better if he didn't resort to the same nausiating jargon beloved of NuLabour.

Why is everybody obsessed only with "hard-working" Britons or "hard-working" families?

Are fairly-hard working families not entitled to the same degree of sympathy/ attention?

Dick the Prick said...

And lads just wanting to get by without pissing people off.

Jimmy said...

So the 1.8bn in the PBR not enough?
They really are making it up as they go along.

Mog said...

Shapps is doing the right thing and love it or hate it the language he speaks is modern day politco speak.

He works hard and gets his message across, others could learn from him.

Dick the Prick said...

My ol' dear used to work for an homelessness unit err.. shelter I guess 20 odd years back and I had an ace chat with a prostitute about how she earned her cash in my summer holidays when me ma's baby sitter had whelched. Brilliant. Didn't have any lego though and was a bit boring and completely mental - abuse - the gist that keeps on giving! What? There's 362 days to Chrimbo - love will tear us apart dontcha know?

martin day said...
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Andy said...

I think it is a bit silly to refer to people having a few problems with rent areers as "The New Homeless". These people aren't homeless and are almost certainly not going to be found under the railway arches with a bottle of cider and a dog on a bit of string.

I think using such emotive terms cheapens the debate.

strapworld said...

yellowbelly is spot on. what about pensioners in rented accomodation? worried that their pensions will now not cover the rent etc!

Ignoring people who live alone, either by choice or following bereavement for 'Hard Working Families! is an insult to everyone else.

I was a hard working chap - as was my wife - are we, like millions of other pensioners, now to be disregarded.

Shapps, in an effort to be seen as 'modern' will cause offence to many!in a report which needs to be aired.

Yet, what does he propose the Conservatives should do? Freeze Rents? Help those with mortgages?

Lady Finchley said...

Andy, you really are callous. The threat of losing your home is about the worst you can live with. I was in that situation some years back and I can't begin to recount the absolute terror you live with, the pit in your gut you wake with and go to sleep with, feeling you have failed yourself and your children. The Government can't help by giving handouts of course but mortgage companies must be flexible as well as must social housing providers such as councils and housing associations. It is trickier for those who rent privately of course. The point is, this is happening on an unprecedented scale and much of the fault lies with the Government in so many ways.

The Wilted Rose said...

I should know. Earlier this year I had to sell my house (bought 4 yrs ago) out of fear of house prices, job stability, mortgage rates, etc - you name it.

Alas, no chance of any stability with Labour.

Rexel No 56 said...

Oh dear, oh dear. Master Shapps just doesn't understand that such talk is careless and could cost lives in the heroic struggle of the British people in the fight against the global downturn.

Many will be fearful for their future, but it is our patriotic duty to listen to the Prime Minister as he rallies us with his weekly broadcasts on the wireless from the bunker beneath Downing Street.

I have even heard that young children will be spared the trauma of repossession by the evil bankers as they are evacuated to warm-hearted families in the countryside.

Thanks be to Gord.

Shirking From Home said...
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Shirking From Home said...

As an unmarried, single person with no dependants and in full time work, parties of all colours don't give a flying fuck about me. This despite me paying shit loads in tax and other rip-off 'charges' for services I will never need or use. This includes outrages such as paying mongs to sit at home on the 'social' with no intention ever of getting up off their fat arses.

The last 11 years of growth have been and will continue to be spunked away and some more.

Until the bastards account for where my tax has gone, the benefits it has provided (me!) and offer me a refund I will not listen to them.

Whatever reports any parties publish will be mere platitudes and empty gestures. I hold them all in contempt.

I am going to make 2009 a difficult year for the government and authorities to get money out of me. This will include both legal and illegal avenues. I've had enough.

I have made provision to keep me afloat for a fair while. I'm thinking about me and my responsibilities just as I was brought up to do. The government and political classes don't give me a second thought. Fuck them.

Does anyone really think Snotty thinks about anyone else other than himself? This applies equally to all MPs and their 'leaders'.

The system stinks and there is no legal recourse. Plenty of other options though...

Andy said...

Well done Lady Finchley for ignoring the body of my point. I am as sympathetic as the next man, having bought my house in London in August 2007 at the top of the market so lets wallow in grief together.
That not withstanding, being homeless is a whole different kettle of fish from me having my house repossessed and having to rent somewhere else, that being my point.

Lady Finchley said...

No Andy you are missing mine. In many cases renting is way more expensive than a mortgage - if they can't afford a mortgage what makes you think they can afford a higher rental and a deposit? And there are not enough council homes to go around and the ones that are available are dreadful. If a council place is not available than there are the dire b & bs. Even worse is the emotional trauma of having to leave the home you have invested in - perhaps the place you moved to when you first married; or the place your child took his first steps - all the hopes and dreams that go into building a home - it is far more than bricks and mortar. Get it now?

Chris Paul said...

How does the "Shapps Report" provide any solutions at all? And how is confusing over-stretched middle earners with choices with "homeless" a smart move?

Lady Finchley said...

Because, Chris, it could happen to any of us. It happened to me. We were a two job family with a child in independent school - we were not rich by any stretch but comfortable. Both jobs went, serious illness followed and we were on the brink of losing our home. I was able to get a bursary for my son but unable to find work (we were both in our 40's)scraped by on benefits. Although the interest on your mortgage will be paid by the DSS the bank will only accept that for a limited amount of time. We saved our home by the skin of our teeth and eventually got back on our feet. I cannot tell you the terror you live with.

With the cost of living as high as it is even the loss of one job in a two job family could be catastrophic. And tax credits and housing benefits for the working mean nothing once you earn over £10,000 a year so ruminate on that for a while.