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  • FIRST POST
    Shelter_Ross
    Struggling to pay your rent? Shelter needs your help!
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 10:10 AM
    Struggling to pay your rent? Shelter needs your help! 16th May 17 at 10:10 AM
    Hi everyone,

    I work for Shelter – the national housing and homelessness charity. At Shelter we know that there are a huge number of people on low incomes struggling to pay their rent each month, borrowing money to pay their bills or unable to save up to buy a house of their own.
    These people are the backbone of our country. They’re ordinary working people such as bus drivers, cleaners, teaching assistants or shop workers. Currently, they’re working to pay the rent, rather than live.

    That’s why we’re calling on the next Government to build half a million living rent homes which would allow people to live a decent life, not just manage each month.

    If you’re working hard but still struggling, cutting back on essentials each month to pay sky-high rents that keep rising, then we want to hear from you. Your stories will help us tell the next Government that they need to act to provide an alternative to our broken system.
    We’re going to run a story in the media highlighting the struggles people face so are looking for the following people to tell their stories:

    - Single (could be renting in a house share, or in your own place) and not with children
    - Earning up to £22,000 a year (could be working part time, in unstable work or full time)
    - Not claiming benefits or only claiming in-work benefits (e.g. tax credits)

    If you’d be happy to share your story then please do so at the link below.

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/campaigns/share_your_story

    And don’t worry, we won’t pass your details to anyone else without your permission. Everything you tell us is confidential, and we won’t use your name unless you agree to it first.

    Thanks,
    Ross
    Last edited by Shelter_Ross; 22-05-2017 at 10:51 AM.
    Official Organisation Representative
    Iím the official organisation rep for Shelter.

    MSE has given permission for me to post letting you know about relevant and useful info. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. If you believe I've broken the Forum Rules please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. This does NOT imply any form of approval of my organisation by MSE
Page 2
    • pimento
    • By pimento 16th May 17, 2:43 PM
    • 5,248 Posts
    • 6,792 Thanks
    pimento
    When the first payment arrived, he called them and asked about how he was going to pay his rent and was told to ask his friends and family.

    I didn't realise there was a housing element. They certainly didn't tell him about it.

    I did know that his money was going up when he was 25 (thankfully next week).

    Who would he speak to about the housing element?
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 16th May 17, 2:47 PM
    • 9,116 Posts
    • 12,083 Thanks
    theartfullodger
    He should run the benefit calculators first - see
    https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
    - then claim as advised there
    https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
    or on the CaB website (Scottish version..)
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/benefits/
    then if he can't work out what to do try local CaB
    http://www.cas.org.uk/

    - or Shelter Scotland 0808 800 4444
    • pimento
    • By pimento 16th May 17, 2:49 PM
    • 5,248 Posts
    • 6,792 Thanks
    pimento
    Thanks all. I thought there must be something very wrong expecting him to live on £250 a month.
    I'll let you know how he gets on.

    Hopefully one of the jobs he's applied for will come up trumps but if not at least I won't be £380 a month poorer next month.


    (I'm new to all this, I've worked continually since I left school in 1978 and never claimed for anything so wasn't sure how it worked.)
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 16th May 17, 2:52 PM
    • 12,495 Posts
    • 10,496 Thanks
    zagfles
    When the first payment arrived, he called them and asked about how he was going to pay his rent and was told to ask his friends and family.

    I didn't realise there was a housing element. They certainly didn't tell him about it.

    I did know that his money was going up when he was 25 (thankfully next week).

    Who would he speak to about the housing element?
    Originally posted by pimento
    Contact the helpline, or possibly do it online, See https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim

    There are some exceptions for instance if he's living with a close relative. More info here:

    http://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Housing-overview-Universal-Credit
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 16th May 17, 3:32 PM
    • 12,495 Posts
    • 10,496 Thanks
    zagfles
    Piffle:

    About half the benefit spend goes to those like me, the old. I get 6 benefits - State Pension, Winter Fuel allowance, £10 Xmas bonus, free eye tests, free prescriptions, 'bus pass. I could reasonably comfortably survive without any of them. Most of us old people aren't (thanks...) "..ill or disabled..". Many in receipt of Child Benefit, the various tax credits couldn't be described as "..ill or disabled.." either.

    The benefit cutbacks have been very largely to the poor, the vulnerable, the disabled, the already disadvantaged: (very predominantly non-Tory voters - funny that..)

    This is wrong, unfair, un-British. Shame on Mother T.

    Best regards to all including those who disagree with me.
    Originally posted by theartfullodger
    It's true that older people have been mainly insulated from the cuts, but apart for the cynical reason that they are more likely to vote, benefits for pensioners are low in the UK compared to other rich countries.

    Benefits to working age people are higher overall in the UK than most other rich countries, and more targetted at the poor, ie more on a means tested basis than a contributory basis. We also have a far higher proportion of younger people on disability benefits than other countries, even though the health of our population isn't that much different.
    • cashbackproblems
    • By cashbackproblems 16th May 17, 4:54 PM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 662 Thanks
    cashbackproblems
    I know this is a money saving site but if you've just left university with a whacking great debt and you're earning minimum wage and having to pay rent and bills etc. how do you propose that you save enough to keep you if you're unemployed and what you're being paid doesn't even cover your rent?

    If he came home he'd only be getting £65 a week job seekers allowance and even if I kept him for free (assuming I could afford to), how could he save enough to keep himself on £65 a week when the bus to the job centre is £3.80?

    Really?
    Originally posted by pimento

    how much does extra does it cost to have someone living with you short term, if you cant afford that then you need money management lessons also.


    Its tough but that is life, if your situation its not possible for him to save but most people waste money then complain. The UK is becoming like a third world country
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 16th May 17, 5:11 PM
    • 16,125 Posts
    • 40,029 Thanks
    FBaby
    - Single (could be renting in a house share, or in your own place) and not with children
    - Earning up to £22,000 a year (could be working part time, in unstable work or full time)
    - Not claiming benefits or only claiming in-work benefits (e.g. tax credits)
    Sorry but I'm struggling to see how a single person, earning £22K, with a reasonable lifestyle, and not expecting the life that you get to enjoy when you earn £40K would find themselves unable to pay their rent.

    I have all the sympathy for hard working people on low income, but £22k for a single person is not horrendous, especially if you are young and can look forward to future progression.

    Hopefully one of the jobs he's applied for will come up trumps but if not at least I won't be £380 a month poorer next month.
    Exactly. You made it sound as if he was signing on to a life of misery on a very low benefit income for the rest of his life. He isn't. He is young and able, and therefore should only be a question of time before he gets a decent job and able to support himself. What incentive there would be for him if he could receive in benefits the same amount that he is likely to get with his first step on the ladder?

    Benefits for young unemployed people is expected to be hard to live on so they quickly move out of it, whatever actions are required to make it happen.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th May 17, 5:36 PM
    • 2,016 Posts
    • 5,534 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    He's a grown man who can't support himself (apparently); his parents should not take him home (as you say, he's a grown man) but expectation is taxpayers should fund him?

    oh dear. At what age do you kick children out? Day after they're not eligible for child benefits?
    Bizarre world!
    Originally posted by always_sunny
    Children are no longer children when they are 24, by a long stretch! Plenty are parents themselves! I'm 32 would you expect me to go 'home' if I became unemployed? Even though I haven't lived with my parents for a decade, the house they live in now has never ben my 'home' and they might not want a 3rd adult living with them now?

    In fact, my mum still has both parents alive and well too, if she loses her job should she and my dad pack up and head over to their house to be kept?

    Yes, the state should support people who cannot support themselves, whether temporarily or permanently. I'm more than happy to pay my taxes for this.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th May 17, 5:37 PM
    • 2,016 Posts
    • 5,534 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    but the country is almost bankrupt
    Originally posted by cashbackproblems
    It really isn't, don't believe the propaganda.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th May 17, 5:42 PM
    • 2,016 Posts
    • 5,534 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel

    Exactly. You made it sound as if he was signing on to a life of misery on a very low benefit income for the rest of his life. He isn't. He is young and able, and therefore should only be a question of time before he gets a decent job and able to support himself.
    Originally posted by FBaby

    Some people are on low wages all their life though, carers, cleaners, TAs, shop assistants all earn much less than 22k, even 22k is not a lot in the SE or London.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 16th May 17, 5:45 PM
    • 8,623 Posts
    • 5,098 Thanks
    teddysmum


    Yes, the state should support people who cannot support themselves, whether temporarily or permanently. I'm more than happy to pay my taxes for this.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel


    This is fine just short term, ( except in the case of disability when the person genuinely cannot work), but at the moment the State allows whole families to choose benefits as a way of life. If this was stopped , there would be enough to help the others, who are unfortunate and not choosing benefits (which can be lucrative if you have lots of offspring).

    There are some , who deliberately make themselves undesirable as an employee , so get benefits for life and any attempt to make them do community work gets cries of 'persecution !' (There is lots of LA work that they could do, without depriving someone of a job, because, no one is doing the jobs (eg cleaning streets, grass cutting), anyway, because they are unaffordable.
    Last edited by teddysmum; 16-05-2017 at 5:51 PM.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 16th May 17, 6:43 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 4,572 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    It might seem like a good idea but for one thing. Governments don't build houses. So unless you can see a way of closing about 70 universities that used to be technical colleges and turning them back into colleges that teach trades you are not going to get any more houses than those that are being build at the moment.

    Someone had the "bright idea" that as many young people as possible should go to university. So we now have technical colleges that call themselves universities that offer degrees in subjects that only serve one purpose and that is to pay the salaries of the staff at those universities and charities that are teaching young people construction skills. So while the country relies on charities to teach the construction skills required to build more houses we are stuck.

    The scandal isn't the lack of benefits it is the fact that very good jobs in construction are going to foreign workers because the colleges that used to train people in these skills are now called universities and they are offering really low standard education in courses leading to degrees in subjects like media studies, journalism, film studies, fashion, performing arts, game design, etc which either lead to unemployment or a minimum wage jobs and don't lead to a job building houses. The scandal is that the universities know that young people can't get jobs in these subjects and sadly it is the less intelligent student who will get taken in by the advertising these universities use to attract them.

    Trade jobs require skills. There is far more skill required to lay bricks than there is to get a 1st class degree at some of the universities in the UK. So what is a degree from one of those worth?

    To build more houses the UK needs to train more young people in construction trades.
    • cashbackproblems
    • By cashbackproblems 16th May 17, 11:54 PM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 662 Thanks
    cashbackproblems
    It really isn't, don't believe the propaganda.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    No propaganda im an accountant and see that we borrow 90bn just to pay the interest on the debt

    You obviously want a benefit life
    • pimento
    • By pimento 17th May 17, 9:08 AM
    • 5,248 Posts
    • 6,792 Thanks
    pimento
    how much does extra does it cost to have someone living with you short term, if you cant afford that then you need money management lessons also.

    Originally posted by cashbackproblems
    Thank you for the advice. I can well afford to keep him if we wants to come home it's just that I'd rather he didn't and he doesn't want to be living with his mother in the boondocks at his age.
    In fact, I'd pay his rent so that he didn't have to come home if it came to it but I really don't think that I should have to.
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 17th May 17, 9:28 AM
    • 12,495 Posts
    • 10,496 Thanks
    zagfles
    It might seem like a good idea but for one thing. Governments don't build houses. So unless you can see a way of closing about 70 universities that used to be technical colleges and turning them back into colleges that teach trades you are not going to get any more houses than those that are being build at the moment.

    Someone had the "bright idea" that as many young people as possible should go to university. So we now have technical colleges that call themselves universities that offer degrees in subjects that only serve one purpose and that is to pay the salaries of the staff at those universities and charities that are teaching young people construction skills. So while the country relies on charities to teach the construction skills required to build more houses we are stuck.

    The scandal isn't the lack of benefits it is the fact that very good jobs in construction are going to foreign workers because the colleges that used to train people in these skills are now called universities and they are offering really low standard education in courses leading to degrees in subjects like media studies, journalism, film studies, fashion, performing arts, game design, etc which either lead to unemployment or a minimum wage jobs and don't lead to a job building houses. The scandal is that the universities know that young people can't get jobs in these subjects and sadly it is the less intelligent student who will get taken in by the advertising these universities use to attract them.

    Trade jobs require skills. There is far more skill required to lay bricks than there is to get a 1st class degree at some of the universities in the UK. So what is a degree from one of those worth?

    To build more houses the UK needs to train more young people in construction trades.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Indeed - and the irony is that the govt are subsidising degrees in these useless subjects far more than degrees in STEM and other "proper" subjects, becauase those that do STEM degrees are likely to get well paid jobs and so end up paying most of their student loan back, whereas those with degrees in film studies etc might never earn above the £21k threshold and so never pay their loan back.

    There should be some follow-up of graduates from every course and if a significant percentage are not in well paid jobs (say £25k+) by say 5 years after graduating, the course should lose its govt funding.

    Brexit makes this more important - people don't want immigration? Well our own people will have to do the jobs then! We need to train them to build etc, not spend a fortune we'll never get back "educating" them in "media studies" etc.
    • pimento
    • By pimento 17th May 17, 9:33 AM
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    • 6,792 Thanks
    pimento
    My son's degree was Politics. (In case you thought it was Star Trek studies or Media Studies.)

    ETA: There's a lot of sly digs going on here. I'm solvent, my son isn't a layabout, his degree is a bona fide subject, he does (and has) want to work. He isn't in debt. It has been established that he has been missing more than half of his benefits.

    A lot of the replies read like they were written while the authors' buttocks were clenched together.
    Last edited by pimento; 17-05-2017 at 9:38 AM.
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • always_sunny
    • By always_sunny 17th May 17, 9:36 AM
    • 3,491 Posts
    • 3,713 Thanks
    always_sunny
    Thank you for the advice. I can well afford to keep him if we wants to come home it's just that I'd rather he didn't and he doesn't want to be living with his mother in the boondocks at his age.
    In fact, I'd pay his rent so that he didn't have to come home if it came to it but I really don't think that I should have to.
    Originally posted by pimento
    I am really just curious (so don't take it personally), I admit that I will never understand this reliance of benefits but I keep trying.
    If you could pay your rent, and he is your son, why should the state chip in in case of need? Very bizarre, makes me wonder if these reports we have from charities (this was a Shelter thread) and state offices are overwhelmed with no real urgent cases.
    Expat with an EU passport
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 17th May 17, 9:41 AM
    • 11,202 Posts
    • 15,655 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    I am really just curious (so don't take it personally), I admit that I will never understand this reliance of benefits but I keep trying.
    If you could pay your rent, and he is your son, why should the state chip in in case of need? Very bizarre, makes me wonder if these reports we have from charities (this was a Shelter thread) and state offices are overwhelmed with no real urgent cases.
    Originally posted by always_sunny
    Let's hope you never lose your job then or face a reduction in income. I'm sure you don't and will not ever claim any benefits whilst living in the UK such as child benefit, tax credits, state pension, job seekers allowance, housing benefit.

    The whole point of benefits is to be there as a safety net for people who, for whatever, reason find themselves out of work or unable to work, or to boost the incomes of low income households.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 17th May 17, 9:42 AM
    • 12,495 Posts
    • 10,496 Thanks
    zagfles
    It really isn't, don't believe the propaganda.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Speaking of propaganda, plenty of people here seem to believe the propaganda than benefits are really low. Till I came along no-one even seemed to question why Pimento's son was getting so little, they just assumed it was what people like him are entitled to, and calling it a "scandal".

    The real scandal is people believing propaganda that benefits really are that low. It ends up with people not questioning it when they get told bulls**t like the OP's son was told, that he'd have to scrounge off family and friends.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 17th May 17, 9:47 AM
    • 12,495 Posts
    • 10,496 Thanks
    zagfles
    My son's degree was Politics. (In case you thought it was Star Trek studies or Media Studies.)

    ETA: There's a lot of sly digs going on here. I'm solvent, my son isn't a layabout, his degree is a bona fide subject, he does (and has) want to work. He isn't in debt. It has been established that he has been missing more than half of his benefits.

    A lot of the replies read like they were written while the authors' buttocks were clenched together.
    Originally posted by pimento
    Don't take it personally - I for one was talking generally in my post about degrees etc, nothing to do with your son's situation which sounds like just a temporary out of work situation.
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