Tenants trapped in system as council house lets slump
MORE than a quarter of social housing tenancies in Coventry are going to someone who was previously sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation.
New government data shows there were 2,245 new social housing tenancies started in the city in the year to April 2018.
The numbers have fallen compared to the previous 12 months with experts pointing towards a slump in turnover due to existing tenants being priced out of a return to private renting.
Social housing refers to low-cost homes which are allocated to those in greatest need, generally by local councils or notfor-profit agencies.
It includes both social rent homes - where the amount paid is fixed in accordance with national guidelines - and “affordable” homes, where rent can be no more than 80 per cent of rent prices in the private sector.
Social rent homes are almost always cheaper.
The number of new social housing lets in Coventry fell from 2,473 in 2016/17, the data shows.
Some 28 per cent of the 2,245 lets in 2017/18 were to a person or family who were previously sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation, which can include hostels and bed and breakfasts.
By contrast 11 per cent went to a household that was previously in private rented accommodation, and 22 per cent went to a household where the lead tenant had a job.
More than a quarter of new social rents (30 per cent) went to a household with children, while 7.7 per cent - one in 13 went to a person or family from a European country other than the UK.
The average social rent in Coventry was £85.40 a week.
That means the average household that took up a social tenancy in 2017/18 was spending 38 per cent of their net income on their home.
The data shows that while 2,120 new tenancies in Coventry were social rent, 125 were affordable rent.
There are 3.9 million households in socially rented homes across England.
Of those, 13 per cent pay affordable rent while 87 per cent pay social rent.
While the average social rent stands at £81.50p a week outside London, the average affordable rent stands at £110.77p, or 71 per cent of rent prices in the private sector.
Nationally, the number of new social lettings fell by six per cent in 2017/18 compared to 2016/17.
Three-quarters of the new lettings went to single adults, with black households over-represented.
In a report on the figures, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the fall in the number of new tenants could reflect a lack of supply caused by people unable or unwilling to leave existing social tenancies.
The report said: “A widening affordability gap between the social and private rental sectors, especially in London and the South East, discourages current social tenants from moving into private accommodation. As a result, turnover is lower in these areas.”