Settled Housing Solutions were invited by the British Property Federation to exhibit and contribute to their annual residential conference which was held on 2nd of February at the Willis Building in the City of London.
The attendees at the conference included a wide range of senior industry figures representing areas such as finance and investment, social housing, planning, construction and development.
One of the keynote sessions was a debate with Lord Freud, the Welfare Minister which was facilitated by the cross bench peer Lord Best.
Before answering questions from the audience, Lord Freud took the opportunity to explain the Government’s welfare reform agenda, with particular regard to the upcoming changes to Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance.
The issues raised by the audience included the potential for increased homelessness due to the reduction of LHA rates to the 30th percentile of the market, the extension of the shared accommodation LHA rate to single claimants under 35 and the possibility that local authorities may be given the power to pay LHA direct to landlords in the future.
With regard to the final point Lord Freud said, “I am determined we have a constructive relationship going forward, over the long term, in the interests of both parties,” he said, confirming that landlords prepared to “meet us half way” by lowering their rents could expect a return to direct payment – where rent is paid directly to them by a local authority, rather than by tenants.
Lord Freud acknowledged that many tenants may find it difficult to maintain their rental payments when the changes to the LHA system come into effect on their claims. However he pointed out that the Government has substantially increased the Discretionary Housing Payment budget to provide extra support for tenants and therefore the possibility of increased homelessness due to these measures would be minimal.
Throughout the day Settled Housing Solutions demonstrated our LHA Calculator software to the
attendees. The feedback we received from both social housing providers and landlord representative bodies was extremely positive and most could see the benefits the software could provide to their respective businesses.
Settled Housing Solutions Consultancy Service was formed in 2007. We are the leading practitioners in the delivery of housing and homelessness legalisation with a strong emphasis on forming effective partnerships with the private rented sector.
For more information about Settled Housing Solutions Consultancy Service contact Alan Elborough firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 0208 340 5526 Mobile 07739 405486 or visit our website www.settledhousingsolutions.com