Friday, 15 March 2013

Constitutions Count!

Recently Community Housing Cymru has been consulting on our corporate plan. One of the most interesting reactions was to our assertion that welfare issues are devolved to the National Assembly, as they are in Northern Ireland. As one member rightly said - it is not CHC’s job to campaign for additional powers for the National Assembly!
However, it is CHC’s job to ensure that housing associations have the best possible regulatory environment. Members are worried about the impact of Welfare Reform, particularly the 'bedroom tax' and the impact of direct payments.
In Northern Ireland, the devolution settlement has allowed the executive to decide that housing benefit can still be paid directly to landlords, the remaining benefits that make up Universal Credit can go to two members of a household, and payments can be made fortnightly rather than monthly. Despite strong opposition from Welsh Government to the Universal Credit system, and the way in which it is being implemented, it has not been able to offer Welsh tenants the same opportunity to protect them from these changes.

Certain pay day lenders are planning to treble their business on the back of Welfare 'Reform' - we need to push for constitutional arrangements that save tenants from the sharks. 

Nick Bennett
CHC Group Chief Executive

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely agree. As a sector we have to be politically neutral but if we can't stand up for our tenants - who else is going to?


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