Housing Cuts May Make People Homeless

In a leaked letter to the Prime Minister, Community Secretary Eric Pickles has warned that new housing benefit cuts could leave 40,000 people homeless.

“£270m savings p.a from 2014-2015 does not take account of the additional costs to local authorities (through homelessness and temporary accommodation)”.

He continued by saying, “Secondly, we are worried about the impact of this measure on our ability to build social housing for families through the new affordable rent product. To fund new affordable housing development providers need to be able to charge rents of up to 80% of the market levels but the impact of the Overall Benefit Cap will prevent them from doing so in many areas greatly reducing their financial capacity.”

Mr Pickles did however offer one suggestion which may help in cutting benefits without causing the same problems “despite these issues we believe that there are ways to introduce this measure in a form which maintains the overall message whilst reducing the negative impacts outlined above”

he continued “One of the most attractive options is to remove Child Benefit from the Overall Benefits Cap. This would be a fairer way to bring the benefits included in the Cap in line with working households, as a working household on the median £500 weekly earning would still receive child benefit on top of their income.”

The full letter can be found here

 

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