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'Taxpayers fuelling housing bubble and subsidising poor quality homes'

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'Taxpayers fuelling housing bubble and subsidising poor quality homes'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Finance

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Taxpayers are fuelling a housing bubble and subsidising the worst quality housing while landlords rake in housing benefit, a campaign group has claimed.

Generation Rent has responded to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions which predict that the housing benefit bill for private sector tenants will rise in real terms from £9.5 billion in 2013/14 to £10.0bn in 2018/19, while the number of tenants claiming benefit will increase by more than 10%, from 1,674,000 to 1,852,000, in the same period.

In the past year, house prices have risen by 9.1% and the number of buy-to-let loans has increased by 39%.

Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, said: “The £9bn taxpayers are showering on private landlords every year looks set to balloon.

"Because landlords know the taxpayer can pay off their mortgage, this cash perversely fuels the housing bubble, which drives up rents, forcing more people to seek housing benefit.

"At the same time it's paying for the worst quality housing, with no checks from the DWP on living conditions, putting vulnerable people in the hands of the most exploitative, predatory landlords.”

Generation Rent is calling for a register of landlords to ensure that tenants can take action against predatory property owners, and for an ambitious programme of housebuilding to bring down the cost of renting.

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