Housing Benefit Fueling Housing Bubble – Generation Rent

Housing Benefit is fuelling a housing bubble and subsidising the worst quality housing, according to campaign group Generation Rent.

The group which represents the country’s 9 million renters was responding to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which predicted that the Housing Benefit bill for private sector tenants will rise in real terms from £9.5bn in 2013/14 to £10.0bn in 2018/19, while the number of tenants claiming benefit will increase by more than 10% from 1,674,000 to 1,852,000 in the same period.

Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, said: “The £9 billion taxpayers are showering on private landlords every year looks set to balloon. Because landlords know the taxpayer can pay off their mortgage, this cash perversely fuels the housing bubble, which drives up rents, forcing more people to seek Housing Benefit. At the same time it’s paying for the worst quality housing, with no checks from the DWP on living conditions, putting vulnerable people in the hands of the most exploitative, predatory landlords.”

Generation Rent is calling for a register of landlords to ensure that tenants can take action against predatory landlords, and an ambitious programme of housebuilding to bring down the cost of renting.