Articles by Andy Winter
Andy Winter began working for Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) in 1985, initially as a residential support worker before becoming manager of BHT’s residential alcohol and drug services. Between 1996 and 2000 he undertook original research into drug related deaths in Brighton and Hove. He has been Chief Executive of BHT since 2003.
Will George Osborne’s Work Programme Type 2 work better than the Work Programme Type 1?
“This begs the question: what is the purpose of the Work Programme? Why are providers not already addressing issues such as drug addiction and illiteracy? In the view of current providers, are they not viable clients under the payment by results regime?” Andy Winter questions what the ‘new Work Programme’ says about the existing one.
The Under Occupation Regulations, aka the Bedroom Tax, may result in perfectly good homes being demolished
Housing, it’s a funny old thing. And successive governments have struggled to come up with coherent strategies to deal with the challenges. It all began going horribly wrong with: a fundamental shift in the 1980s away from capital investment, replacing it with increasing revenue support, resulting in the spiraling cost of housing benefit (I have blogged […]
The urgent need to regulate letting agencies
Lord Myners, the former city minister, used to quote Hunter S Thompson: “Banking is a shallow money trench, where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. It also has is negative side”. While I might not be so damning in my assessment of letting agencies, I have for a long time […]
Increases in council tax and rents arrears, and rises in debt levels, are predictable yet avoidable
News today that council tax arrears are up 45% in a year sends shivers down my spine. 1.48 million homes were in arrears in April compared to 1.02 million a year earlier. Austerity and cuts to council tax benefit are to blame according to some, although the government has pointed out that changes to council […]
Attacking housing benefit is not the answer, investing in new, affordable homes is
It seems to be flavour of the month to be seen to be tough on welfare, with housing benefit being the latest target of politicians. The latest is Labour’s Ed Balls (‘Labour to examine housing benefit’), but he is just the latest in a line of politicians from all sides to do so. There is clearly […]
Will welfare reform address problems rather than creating greater ones?
This post is not about the pros and cons of welfare reform. I think many of the ambitions behind welfare reform are to be welcomed. Rather, this post looks at the practical implementation of these measures and some unintended consequences. Regarding the Bedroom Tax (I feel I can call it that given that on Monday […]
The presentation of the report and recommendations of the Independent Drugs Commission, and the predictable reaction of local and national media, means that the chance of having a reasonable debate on the issues is lost. I turned down about a dozen requests for comment or interview, and remained silent on the report until now as there […]
A client of BHT was put on the Work Programme. She said it prevented her from moving forward in her life. She was required to do newspaper and online searches for jobs, three hours a day. She said she received no training and could not talk about her support needs. She said she became increasingly stressed […]
Today I met with colleagues from some of the country’s larger homelessness charities, at a gathering organised by Homeless Link, one of our trade bodies. Amongst the themes discussed were those that come up at many meetings I attend these days, including severe funding restrictions, the “race to the bottom” as far as pricing tenders […]