Housing benefit cuts will hit the most disadvantaged

The cuts in housing benefit will adversely affect some of the most disadvantaged groups in society and are likely to lead to an increase in homelessness, warns the homeless charity Crisis. In a new briefing paper looking at the impact of the Coalition government changes to housing benefit introduced from 2010 to the 2012 budget, the charity finds:

  • Nationally 936,960 households will lose out as a result of the removal of various changes.
  • The average 1 bedroom claimant will lose £11 a week.
  • The average London claimant will lose £22 a week.

While accepting that housing benefit needs reform and that there is an issue with very high rents, particularly in parts of London, the report concludes:

There is a real concern that cutting in this way will store up problems for the future and end up costing more as social problems such as homelessness result. The Government’s own advisors have said that the cuts to Local Housing Allowance ‘are expected to result in financial hardship, household disruption and displacement, and pressures on non-Housing Benefit budgets’.

The briefing (Housing Benefit Cuts, Crisis) is available on the Crisis website.

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