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Leah Ferguson reports
Jersey's Housing Minister has set out his official plan to significantly shake up the island's social housing system.
Years of under-investment has led to a housing crisis where a quarter of homes in the Bailiwick are currently below the UK's Decent Homes standard - a measure used because the island does not have a decent homes standard of its own.
Among Deputy Green's proposals is looking at increasing rents for those who can pay by up to 20%.
He wants radical change in the Housing Department, so that it would not exist in its current form. The main proposals, which need to be agreed by the States, are as follows:
1. Set up a Strategic Housing Unit to decide and promote future plans and strategy.
2. Introduce a new Affordable Housing Regulator to provide independent monitoring of social housing.
3. A new Housing Association is set up to replace the Housing Department's work.
4. Ensure social rents are set at fair levels so that social housing tennants are assessed for whether they can afford to pay more. Those who rely on Income Support would not have rents increased.
Deputy Green wants to ensure all social homes meet the Decent Homes Standard in the next 10 years - and says he would need to borrow an extra £108 million.
He wants to set up a new Housing Association, which would take control of the island's 4,500 States properties away from the Housing Department.
He also wants a Strategic Housing Unit, which would look at strategy for housing and create an independent housing regulator to monitor the work of those organisations.
And finally, he wants transparency of rents and to set 'a fair rent level'.
You can read the full report here
What do YOU think of the Housing Minister's proposals? Let us know...
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Posted By: grumpyoldwoman on 17-Apr-2012
I very much doubt that any loan company would give someone on benefits a loan to buy a flash car/boat, so those that have them must be working full-time to pay for them - probably for the next 5 to 10years. If they lose their jobs they will be repossessed. Some people like to go on holiday, some people like to go to pubs/restaurants, some people like cars - it's up to them what they spend their money on after they've paid their rent, bills etc, whether they're in states places or rent privately. States tenants are means-tested, I believe - the more you earn the more you pay. Bring back the rent tribunal for the private sector to prevent over-pricing of tiny sub-standard properties to make the system fairer for all.
Posted By: JOHN on 15-Apr-2012
Chasing the private sector rents, really does' make sense .The island all ready has a recruitment problem in recruiting qualified staff such as nurses and more and more young people are not coming back to Jersey after uni because of the high cost of living . the Island should be concentrating on bringing the cost of living down, and if the states done more for people in the private sector they would not need so much social housing
Posted By: Lisa st. Saviour on 14-Apr-2012
Alison - the point of income support is to just get by so regardless of how you budget there shouldn't be any of my hard earned tax money left for you to treat your self to any kind of luxury! I notice you say there's no point if you don't have young children so I am right that I can get plenty on income support if I have a couple more kids! If you have no young kids why aren't you working? My guess is you get more on income support.
Posted By: Bridge on 14-Apr-2012
Well, life sucks doesn't it. The reality is that everyone has to work, if it's China, Peru, or Jersey. With an average wage in Mumbai, you can own your own apartment after 300 years. Deputy Green wants to meet the Decent Homes Standard in 10 years, it will be 10 years behind again:-)
Posted By: shep on 14-Apr-2012
well the rent increase will hit people hard something will have to go for me its my private pension i have no sky or posh car.i said years ago we are all getting dragged into income support levels soon us working will be no better off them them who dont work and less money to spend will hit shops and local venues. this is a bad move i have no doubt it will be passed afraid this island is on the way down.mark the day this happens and when the sh.t hits the fan you know who to blame.to be honest i voted for the first time this year never again i really do give up.
Posted By: nicola on 14-Apr-2012
i would like to know what he wold do for someone like me
Jersey born, full time worker since i left school but own a dog! i cant find a place i can afford with a small outside area it is madness! to be honest even if i didnt need a garden it be hard to find someting i could afford on my own with out have to have all my wages go on rent.
Yet i know alot people who have been given a house yet they never worked a day from school as they have a child i do not this is fair i understand that they need places but so do people like myself and i think we need to look at a way of helping local people find affordable rents.
Posted By: Alison on 14-Apr-2012
Freedy you echo my thoughts about bigger claims and private landlords.
Posted By: grumpyoldwoman on 14-Apr-2012
Building more social housing will create jobs and get many able-bodied men off income support. The State will always own these properties and if solidly built they will be there for decades to come. Where are people supposed to go if they are made redundant and can no longer afford to pay their extortionate private sector rents? Is there a bench in Parade Gardens with their name on it?
Posted By: carrie on 13-Apr-2012
i beg to differ freedy i am on low wages and work two jobs and income support help me pay a small portion of my rent my income support amount doesnt change if my rent goes up
Posted By: Freedy on 13-Apr-2012
Simple facts you can claim income support in private rentals. So the low earners are no worse off financially in the private sector . Raising the rents will just mean bigger claims for people on income support and allow private landlords to raise there rents.Would be interesting to no how much housing trust make on peoples income support and how much more there rents go up.
Posted By: Alison - st H on 13-Apr-2012
When will people stop slating those on benefits. For one not all are scroungers and lazy asses. For two the days of being better off on benefit are over, that was years ago, you try living on what the system gives you when you have no young children. For three why because you live on a benefit should you be denied something nice, if you can budget and afford it, what gives anyone the right to say you can't have it!
Personally I'm sick of listening to it!
Ok rant over, I'm off to watch my luxury tv and do some internet shopping in Harrods! Right!
Posted By: Margaret Rose (St Saviour) on 13-Apr-2012
Here we go again. Yet again the ordinary working class people who are trying to work, pay their way, and generally live on this very expensive Island, are now being asked to pay more. Why on earth cant' these Ministers open their eyes to what is going on around them. Lots of people claiming benefits who should not be doing so, and having no incentive to get out there and work. Since Income Support was brought in, it is simply a farce. It seems to be getting more expensive every year to fund it, and they will never recoup the money to pay for it. Totally disallusioned.
Posted By: irene on 13-Apr-2012
There a lot of people who earn low wages and they have to pay private rental regardless so who is the worse off there then, certainly not the states tenant
Posted By: lizzy on 13-Apr-2012
Another kick in the teeth for the average hard working person.
I earn 27,000 a year . Yes I am a single parent and do not qualify for any income support I all ready pay the maximum rent, tax and social and I am only 1 of 3 in a block of 10 that pays maximum rent.My neighbour a single parent does not work pay tax or social has all her rent paid for and everything in her life paid for somehow and has a far better standard of living then me.
So put my rent up and sorry I will do the same as her and what will be left in Jersey is the high earners and people on income support . The states are driving out the average hard working person.
Posted By: Mark B on 13-Apr-2012
Wrong moocow, it's locals who are greedy and rip you off. The people who come to Jersey, pay taxes, live in non qualified accomodation, don't live in these estates and hardly get anything although they paid tax. You can surely argue who is local, or who isn't. I was born in Jersey, lived abroad, came back and was shocked how bad the housing is these days. It's not the place it used to be, as locals became greedy and just think of money. After 2-3 years, I had enough and left, because it's total rip off rather than quality of life
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