I have been giving Cllr Hitesh Tailor, Labourâ€™s housing spokesman in Ealing, a hard time over his handwringing over the Toriesâ€™ reform of the discredited housing benefit system, in particular Local Housing Allowance. See here, here and here.
Sorting out the re-cycling tonight I noticed this advert on the back of the Gazetteâ€™s property supplement from last week. It promises landlords â€œHigh Rents Fixed until April 2013.â€ Note â€œHigh Rentsâ€ not â€œreasonable rentsâ€ or â€œfair rentsâ€.
The bottom line is that Tailor is concerned that people like Somali refugee Saeed Khaliif might be inconvenienced by the new governmentâ€™s changes to the Labourâ€™s Local Housing Allowance (LHA) system. The government wants to limit LHA to Â£500 per week from April 2013. This is hardly radical. You need to earn about Â£50K a year to be able to pay that amount of rent (and nothing else). The idea that taxpayers want to give way more than even this generous cash limit to indigent refugees to live in Hampstead is plain silly. Cllr Withani and other leftie housing types will tell you that this reform will be hard on tenants. The reality is that it will be hard on landlords who have enjoyed high rents totally divorced from reality. Under LHA landlords have been receiving supernormal rents. It seems that Cllr Withani is the landlordâ€™s friend.