This a sizeable deposit in place usually ranging

This
briefing note is designed to give a general overview of housing in
its basic form. This will focus on looking at how housing is accessed
for different tenures and the barriers which could or would affect
this access. It will also look at some of the range of housing
providers available, the roles which are played by them and looking
at how they make a contribution to housing people at a local level.
Taking a look at the relationship between that of supply and demand
on a local level compared to a national level and the contributing
factors of this. Then finally government interventions within the
housing sector from a national perspective and the impact they have.

Accessing
Housing

Tenure

How tenure is
accessed

Barriers

Owner Occupation

This tenure is
accessed by obtaining a mortgage in order to become the owner of
the property. They need have a sizeable deposit in place usually
ranging from 5% upwards. Whilst being able to demonstrate that
they are able to afford the monthly mortgage payments

No deposit
available or not enough.
Individual
having an adverse credit rating meaning it is incredibly
difficult for them to gain a mortgage.

Shared Ownership

This tenure is
accessed by firstly obtaining a mortgage for the percentage of the
property which the individual is looking to own. For the other
percentage the individual has to be able to meet the rental
requirement. A common theme through out each tenure is that of
meeting eligibility criteria which is the same for this type of
tenure also

The barriers
which can occur are

Eligibility
– does the individual meet the specified criteria. E.G.- income
being low enough to need but high enough to afford

Can the
individual actually obtain a mortgage.
Does the
individual have the deposit required for the mortgage.

Renting from a
social landlord

This tenure is
accessed by meeting eligibility criteria. The individual must have
a housing need that cannot be met in the private sector. They will
either access this through an application or a bidding system,
which is based on need not desire. In order to be matched with
suitable properties

No housing
need within this sector.
Income –
no eligibility for benefits but unemployed they can’t access
social housing.
Adverse
history with social landlords in the past

Providers
of Housing

Local Authority

This provider has no obligation to own
or provide housing to any individual. All properties which were owned
by the local authority in Coventry for example were transferred to
the housing association, set up and designed to provide potential
customers with affordable housing. They do however have a obligation
to still provide assessments for individuals/families who are
claiming Homelessness or requesting adaptions in order to stay in
their current accommodation due to disability. When it comes to
decisions made on the eligibility for housing benefit this is done by
the local authority.

Housing association

This type of housing provider has a
wide selection of affordable housing available to potential customers
who must demonstrate a specific need in order to obtain it. The
Housing Association set down certain criteria that must be met in
order to show that the potential customer qualifies for and can
afford the accommodation that will be provided.

West Mercia Housing for example have
taken over from the local authority in providing customers with
affordable housing which is set at below market rent, thus increasing
the amount of properties available to customers who are eligible to
access them. They are constantly increasing their stock by building
new properties in order to try and keep up with the demand from those
who have a need for it and replacing old housing stock which is no
longer fit for purpose.

For there to be a supply of housing
there has to be an adequate demand from those who wish to buy or rent
the properties. As a general rule of thumb if the cost of either
buying a property or renting it is lower then demand for properties
in the specified area will increase. However as demand increases the
supply of properties will be greatly reduced causing an increase in
the cost of purchasing properties and also the private rental markets
and thus more demand for housing from social landlords. The flip side
to this is if demand for properties in another area is not as high
then house prices and private rental costs will be greatly reduced,
this can in turn reduce the strain on social landlords having to
provide properties in that area due to the affordability.

At a local level in Coventry for
example, the housing costs and cost of living is below average
compared to that of London for example. In October 2017 the average
costs of a property within the West Midlands of which Coventry is a
part of was around £186,000 compared to properties in London which
were around £481,000. This is due to a number of factors which
includes things such as, London being the capitol city of England,
this in itself makes the area much more desirable to live and work in
and around reducing the supply of properties in comparison to the
demand for them. It is seen as holding a higher status than other
cities such as Coventry and a belief that education, work
opportunities, pay rates for employment are of a higher standard.
However on a national level it is commonly observed that the further
North you travel in England the costs of housing and living fall,
this is most commonly talked about as the North / South divide and
puts into perspective that more opportunities for employment,
education and housing are seen to be more desirable the further south
you travel. Which has the effect of housing supply being greater in
the North half of the country where demand appears to be relatively
low when compared to the likes of London, to the point where Local
authorities in the Southern regions are having to relocate those
seeking affordable accommodation due to being on benefits to other
Local Authorities in cities and counties further north such as the
Midlands and Yorkshire to help balance the supply / demand for those
areas.

The government has had an influence on
housing in a number of ways. Here are some examples of the way in
which they have. In April 2013 as part of a national benefit reform
the government introduced a new clause called the under occupancy
penalty or the bedroom tax as it is more commonly known, in a bid to
encourage or force as some people still see it, those claiming
housing benefit who are or were at the time renting houses or flats
with more bedrooms than occupants to downsize in order to try to ease
some of the pressure off social landlords and local councils who were
and still are in desperate need of larger accommodations for families
and those with disabilities.

At a local level in April 2016 the
government placed an order for Housing Associations to implement a 1%
decrease in rental charges for four years, thus giving the tenants a
4% decrease in total at the end of the four years. This was
implemented to try to reduce the costs to the tax payers and the
local and national government with regards to housing benefit
payments and housing subsidies paid by local councils, the other
benefit to this reduction is that social and local council housing
(where it still exists) becomes more affordable to families and
individuals on low incomes especially those claiming benefits, in
some cases it is hoped it will reduce the risks of being evicted due
to rent arrears later on in the tenancy.

So the following can be concluded from
this briefing:

For each type of tenure individuals
must meet eligibility criteria in order to access housing. Whether
this be affordability for owner occupation or the need for housing
in the affordable housing sector

That housing provided by housing
associations are affordable and are below market rent.

That the demand for housing affects
the supply available; for example the more housing is demanded in a
certain area for reasons such as location and educational
establishments the lower the supply of affordable housing becomes.

The Government is trying to equalise
the supply / demand on affordable housing by giving those on low
incomes the chance to succeed in sustaining tenancies in properties
that are suitable for their needs and occupancy levels.

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