Are council tenant compensation systems stacked against people?

You would think that people would be proud of the progress they’ve made on community-driven Build Back Better. But, as the BBC reports today, it looks as though the government may have overlooked that progress.

Money to pay for each person’s home has been drying up for a decade, despite the fact that Build Back Better had apparently made “great strides” in raising the proportion of low-income households who’ve been compensated. That has now increased from 82% to 93%, the BBC reported, because the payment of that money is being compromised by low levels of tax receipts.

This comes despite the government having published a report in 2010 listing the progress of the project as a “business-to-business service, where GB … (has) transformed the way a wide range of councils, housing associations and businesses can access Build-Back-Better services”.

The independent audit committee’s latest report from 2011 shows that progress towards a people-focused approach had been made, as well as a big reduction in red tape and “the creation of common working areas” for the programme.

But more than six years on, there are concerns that a whole raft of factors has reversed this progress.

This includes a lot of people having left the programme, leaving it to government to pay the bills and “in cash-strapped councils, or some pockets, demands have not been heeded”, something – potentially – that has been exacerbated by a massive shortage of labour, as well as increased demand from the private sector.

The committee is also concerned that the average amounts individuals are compensated are “often small in relation to the total cost of repairs.”

Ministers don’t appear to be worried about this, though. They claim that when the new, “short-term government-backed relief package” will be introduced, it will provide both certainty and “value for money.”

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