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Letting adverts that discriminate against tenants on housing benefit could be banned

Ministers in England are set to meet representatives of landlord associations, tenant groups, property websites and mortgage providers in a bid to clamp down on discrimination against people on housing benefit in the private rented sector.

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler said that adverts which specify that a home will not be rented to people on housing benefit could be banned and she called on landlords and letting agents to stop saying No to DSS claimants.

 

She pointed out that out of 4.5 million households living in private rental accommodation, 889,000 receive housing benefit to help pay their rent. Yet the latest figures show around half of landlords said they would not be willing to let to tenants on Housing Benefit.

‘I will be meeting key stakeholders to tackle the practice of No DSS, to underline the need for immediate change,’ Wheeler confirmed.

Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, said that everyone should have the same opportunity when looking for a home, regardless of whether they are in receipt of benefits.

‘With Universal Credit, payments can be paid directly to the landlord, and we continue to listen to feedback and work with landlords to improve the system.

Landlords can already receive rent from tenants on Housing Benefit and Universal Credit, meaning payments can be paid directly into their accounts,’ he pointed out.

Wheeler also announced that some £19.5 million is to be provided to local authorities in England to provide homes for people at risk of losing their or who are already homeless, it has been announced

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Wheeler said that it will help people to get into the rented sector and the funding will go to 54 projects around the country.

Councils will use the funding boost to help vulnerable people secure their own tenancy through support such as, paying deposits or putting down the first months’ rent and Wheeler said that th

African cities become the new home to over 40,000 people every day, many of whom find themselves without a roof over their heads. With that in mind, IFC has committed to do more to develop the property sector, both to provide new and affordable housing and to encourage an industry that requires significant building materials and has the potential to be a major employer. In May, IFC and Chinese multinational construction and engineering company, CITIC Construction launched a $300 million investment platform, CITICC (Africa) Holding Limited, to develop affordable housing in multiple African countries. The platform will partner with local housing developers and provide long-term capital to develop 30,000 homes over next five years. IFC estimates that each housing unit will create five full-time jobs – resulting in nearly 150,000 new jobs on the continent. Kenya and Nigeria are high on the priority list for the new effort. Kenya’s housing shortage is estimated at 2 million units, while Nigeria is in want of 17 million units. The soaring demand is being met by scant new supply. Africa’s housing market has few local developers with the technical and financial strength to construct large-scale projects. The IFC-CITIC Construction platform will work with local housing companies to develop affordable housing projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, each ranging in size from 2,000 to 8,000 units. CITIC Construction has a proven track record in constructing and delivering large scale housing projects. The platform will start by developing homes in Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria, expanding to other countries as operations ramp up. “In Angola, through planning, financing, construction and post-construction operation, CITIC Construction has successfully completed the 200,000 units housing program, new city of Kilamba Kiaxi, with relative infrastructure and utilities in four years. CITIC Construction has also founded the CITIC BN Vocational School in Angola which helps youth acquire the skills they need to become professionals”, said Hong Bo, Assistant President of CITIC Group and Chairwoman of CITIC Construction, “CITIC Construction will take advantage of our engineering experience and delivery capability to develop more affordable houses for Africa through the platform with IFC.” “As Sub-Saharan Africa become more urbanized, the private sector can help governments meet the critical need for housing”, said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “The platform will help transform Africa’s housing markets by providing high quality, affordable homes, creating jobs, and demonstrating the viability of the sector to local developers. IFC will work with financial institutions to support mortgages and housing finance that will allow people to purchase the units.” The new housing units will be constructed in accordance to IFC’s green building standards, delivering homes that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. The World Bank Group estimates that by 2030, three billion people, or 40 percent of the world’s population will need new housing units. To date, IFC has invested more than $3 billion in housing finance in over 46 countries world-wide. IFC focuses on regions where large portions of the population live in sub-standard housing and have limited access to credit to build, expand, or renovate their homes.is should give them an opportunity to make a home in a property they may otherwise not have been able to access.

‘I want everyone to have the security, dignity and opportunities they need to build a better life and at the heart of which is ensuring everyone can find a safe and secure home to call their own,’ said Wheeler.

‘This funding will make a huge difference in opening up the private rented sector to people who need it and give them the chance to rebuild their lives.

This helps strengthen the choices and opportunities available for those on benefits to secure the homes they and their families need,’ she added.

In a third move, local authorities can now also bid for a share of up to £26 million of Rapid Rehousing Pathway funding for 2019 to 2020.

This extra investment can be used to fund innovative local schemes which help those sleeping rough and struggling with mental health problems or substance misuse issues.

The Private Rented Sector Access Fund will also support minimum tenancies or existing tenancies for a period of 12 months.

Source: Propertywire

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