Benefit cuts to hit housing association tenants in Scotland

Housing association tenants in Scotland stand to lose up to £228 million by 2017 as a result of the government’s reforms to social security benefits, according to a report.

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations commissioned a study of the direct and indirect impacts of welfare reform on working-age tenants of housing associations and cooperatives in Scotland. By 2017 many existing benefit payments, including housing benefit, will have been fully replaced with a single universal credit.

Key findings

  • The reforms will result in a cumulative loss of benefit by 2017 in the region of £123 million to £228 million.
  • Over £33 million of the annual estimated loss from 2016/17 onwards is related to housing benefit reform – equivalent to about 9 per cent of the total housing benefit currently in payment.
  • The most acute impact of housing benefit cuts derives from the benefits ‘cap’. The 1,200 tenants affected each risk losing nearly £80 each week, on average, as a result.
  • Tenants will face further significant pressure as a result of reform to other working-age benefits (by 2017, a further £39.5 million will be lost annually as a result), and because of the uprating of benefits using CPI rather than RPI (£50.3 million lost annually).

SourceThe Impact of Welfare Reform on Housing Associations and Housing Co-operatives in Scotland, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
LinksReport | SFHA press release