Public housing - means test & reduce the cost to the tax-payer

The government/tax-payer is currently subsidising public housing to the tune of £4.1m per annum.

Rental costs are substantially below those in the private sector (details below)....

Means testing should be introduced to ensure that only those people/familes who truly require state support to rent a property receive it (and allocation is prioritised to them). 

Where public housing is available for rental to anyone else, this should be on a means tested basis with a sliding scale of charges to help off-set the subsidised costs and contribute towards funding the current annual loss.

Why the contribution is important

A government press release in December 2016 stated "The cost of providing public sector housing, including maintenance, refurbishment and new and replacement properties, continues to outstrip rental income. The Department of Infrastructure is required to fund the difference, which stands at £4.1 million for 2016-17.

Rental costs (listed below) are substantially below those in the private sector....

Property Type                 Average weekly public sector rent 2017/18

1 Bed Flat                       £55.96

1 Bed Flat (sheltered)      £68.43


2 Bed House                   £81.00


3 Bed House                   £95.51


Further details here:

by Bobyd100 on April 10, 2017 at 02:16PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 17 votes


  • Posted by Shale April 10, 2017 at 15:36

    These facts are wrong. Where do they get £56 for a one bed flat?? incorrect. £70 for one bed council flat and I'll bet houses are a lot more than stated above. Means testing is needed for those tenants whose earnings (combined also with all fam members) have exceeded the threshold for provision of council housing; and they should go up a scale or two and pay more esp for 2 to 3 bed houses which privately rented can be in region of £850 a month.
  • Posted by ManxVoter April 10, 2017 at 15:49

    This suggestion is just petty minded & obnoxious

    Our government shuld be a government for all, with a national housing policy to ensure everyone is properly housed with rents set at affordable rates & high standards of accommodation achieved for the sake of good health

  • Posted by Bobyd100 April 10, 2017 at 16:46

    Shale - agreee with your thinking on means testing. The figures I've quoted are lifted directly from the Government press release from Ray Harmer MHK (link provided in my post).....

    ManxVoter - how is offering an idea on how to reduce the deficit of £4.1m p.a. petty & obnoxious? Have you read the link provided? All I am suggesting is that those who can afford it contribute more to the cost of their rented property (still likely below commercial rates) & don't just expect everyone else to subsidise them.
  • Posted by Flossie April 10, 2017 at 16:50

    Agree with means testing for rents with lower rents for those who cannot afford the market rates. Introduction of market rates for those who wish to stay in their home but earn above a reasonable amount and can afford to pay market rates. The funds received could be used to build more affordable housing where there is need.
  • Posted by Remember196 April 11, 2017 at 08:48

    An efficient and well run local authority has a surplus on general social housing, where significant subsidies are paid from central to local government this is for elderly persons housing where the rents paid do not meet the costs of providing the accommodation. To reduce central government expenditure the rents for elderly persons housing need to increase.
  • Posted by Shale April 11, 2017 at 11:46

    Noone should get a cheap house when they are earning mega bucks. It's a no brainer and the people in charge who allow this situation to continue are the ones who need to do something about it There are people on this island paying £850 a month to private landlords pockets; also the DHSS are subsidising single parents in these same private rented houses at the price above out of taxpayer funded benefit money; as they have to house them! More affordable housing (set at different rates, introduction of housing associations, etc) would mean a much lower benefit bill so saving Government thousands each year. If your in a 3 bed house and on your own, you should be relocated to free that council house up for a needy family;
  • Posted by Chrism April 11, 2017 at 17:28

    I agree we need to get means testing ASAP, we all know examples of people in council houses earning large sums with holiday homes, camper vans etc
  • Posted by ninjadispenser April 12, 2017 at 01:04

    Couldn't agree more about means testing,it's the only way to provide housing for low income/needy people but it is abused because the government think it's too much of a headache to get off the ground.Also,couldn't they think about set tenancy agreements for young people trying to save for a deposit for a house,say 2years at a subsidised rent to enable them to save? Strang Close at Braddan used to be like that,where your lease was 2years set in stone,but at a lower rent.
    And not all private Landlords are money grabbing 'rising damp' types.I have two tenants and one has had the same rent for 10 years and the other I lowered the rent as they were such a good tenant I felt it worth it to keep them.Having said that,I have seen some rentals that I wouldn't keep a farm animal in let alone a family,and I have heard Landlords horror stories about tenants wrecking their house and having to get a court order to get them out.
  • Posted by Yukiyama April 12, 2017 at 17:42

    Long overdue
  • Posted by madeleine April 16, 2017 at 17:42

    Fixed tenancies and means testing for all younger occupiers. If people are on benefits it makes no odds to government what their rent is because they are not paying. The aim must be to get young people and families off housing benefits as quickly as possible. The amount of housing benefit payable to private landlords should also be capped both for the individual but also in the annual budget. Vulnerable persons and elderly retirees excluded as it is societies responsibility to look after them but most do not fit into this category.
  • Posted by Susan April 18, 2017 at 17:36

    It is unjust that people with good incomes and/ or large savings should live in taxpayer-subsidised housing. This is even worse when some such people have holiday homes elsewhere.

    Means testing should encompass current and previous earnings, such that previously well-paid individuals are not encouraged to spend excessively in order to reduce their income to the threshold at 'assessment-time'.
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