4 Oct 2010

Will Coalition changes to Housing Benefit lead to evictions in Stroud?

A while ago I contacted Crisis regarding their research into Housing Benefit - it showed that 1,200 people will be affected in Stroud District. See our Green party press release here - sadly the release was not taken up by local press despite this being a crucial issue.

Pic: from old Green party campaign

The Government announced cuts of £1.8bn to housing benefit. According to an impact assessment by the Department of Work and Pensions, almost a million households reliant on Local Housing Allowance - the form of housing benefit paid to tenants in the private rented sector - will be affected. Well now we hear from a survey of landlords that this could mean 82,000 homeless in London - see here.

eGovMonitor report: "Approximately 60 per cent of landlords surveyed said they would not lower the rent by any amount if the tenant could not pay the full rent due to changes in LHA entitlement. If the shortfall in rent rises to over £20 per week, almost all landlords said they would evict the tenant or not renew the tenancy at the end of the period. Over a quarter of landlords said they would decrease the number of properties they make available to people in receipt of housing benefit if these changes go ahead.

"London Councils’ figures show that instead of forcing the market to accept lower rents, the new caps will lead to even fewer homes being available for rental by people on low incomes. Those unable to keep up with their rents will either be made homeless, forced to move into overcrowded accommodation, or have to move to less expensive boroughs, putting pressure on services like schools."

What impact will the changes have in Stroud? How many of those 1,200 identified by Crisis will face eviction? I hope none - the emotional and social costs of eviction cannot be underestimated - to be made homeless is a hugely damaging experience for most people - particularly children. Indeed the costs of rehousing and more are hugely expensive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope no one becomes homeless, but frankly some landlords have been making a killing out of HB. Is it not unjust that already rich people are getting richer at the expense of the welfare state.