From April of next year, thousands of tenants in social housing will be see their rents go up under the so-called pay to stay programme, which is part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
Many tenants have are now really worried about how this will impact their household finances. The most perverse aspect of the Act is how it will act as an incentive for people to reduce the number of hours they work, purely in order to avoid unavoidable rent hikes. Warwick Payne, Cabinet member for Housing, gave the following comment:
"Pay to stay means that tenants in council or housing association properties have to pay much higher rents if they earn over a certain amount. All the extra cash goes to Westminster, so there's no local benefit.
It's calculated at £31,000 per household, so a couple earning £16,000 each (close to the living wage) would have to stump up more cash...or alternatively, pack in work, claim benefits, and avoid paying extra rent.
It's all part of the Housing Act 2016 that also takes away lifetime tenancies, and orders cities including Southampton to sell council housing on the open market and send the proceeds up to London each year.
You might ask what you can do about this - for now the answer is nothing, as the Tory Government has made it law. The only way of getting rid of it is by getting rid of them. It's just another example of why the UK needs a Labour government."
For more information on 'pay to stay' see here: https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2016/aug/31/pay-to-stay-social-housing-hit-low-earners