Thursday, 31 July 2014

Benefit caps 'will lead' to increased homelessness

A leading landlord organisation has warned that government plans to cap benefits are likely to lead to an increase in homelessness.

The Residential Landlords Association, which represents 16,000 private sector landlords across England and Wales, said plans to cap benefit increases would hit tenants.

Later today, MPs will vote on whether to approve legislation that would mean benefit increases would be capped at 1 per cent rather than going up in line with inflation. The RLA said such a cap would be unsustainable, leading to many tenants finding themselves unable to pay their rents and thereby facing eviction, even though landlords have seen a real terms cut in rental levels.

Based on figures from the government’s Valuation Office Agency, the average rent in England for the 12 months to September 2012 was 1.29 per cent higher than in the preceding 12 months.

Even with rents increasing by just 1.29 per cent, those on benefits facing a 1 per cent cap on the rise in their benefits will face added difficulties in affording their rent, the RLA claimed.

Alan Ward, chair of the RLA, said: ‘Almost a quarter of tenants in the private rented sector are in receipt of housing benefits, including some that are in work. While landlords have kept rent increases well below inflation this still wouldn’t be sufficient for benefit claimants facing a 1 per cent cap on the increase in their benefits.

‘Already before this measure is introduced, Shelter has reported that 1.4 million people are falling behind with payments on their rents or mortgages. The government’s reforms will serve only to increase the number of families struggling to cope.’

Readers' comments (9)

  • Melvin Bone

    'Even with rents increasing by just 1.29 per cent, those on benefits facing a 1 per cent cap on the rise in their benefits will face added difficulties in affording their rent, the RLA claimed.'

    Wages don't go up based on the rent of houses so why should benefits?

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  • Melvin Bone

    Another interesting report from CPAG here: http://www.cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/The%20Double%20Lockout%20FINAL_0.pdf

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  • Rick Campbell

    One ponders if rents. fuel, petrol, food, transport, didn't increase so much would 'benefits' have to increase?

    Of course, what is conveniently forgotten is that any up-rating is based on a figure which is 6 months old.

    That said, there will be those who are happy with social security being reduced ... the human psyche is a wondrous thing indeed.

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  • Melvin Bone

    When most folks wages are frozen though Rick...

    Meaning they are reducing in real terms...

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  • Rick Campbell

    Most folks wages are frozen is perhaps one of the reasons for working tax credits in the first place Melvin?

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  • Melvin Bone

    They started of as Working Families Tax Credits. A much better much simpler system IMHO.

    Labour moved it to HMRC changed it to an annual review system and it's been a mess ever since.

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  • Rick Campbell

    I concur Melvin and I can't see it getting any better --- I'd love to be proved wrong though.

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  • Rick Campbell

    BENEFITS CAP DEBATE

    Live blog for those who cannot get to tv

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2013/jan/08/mps-vote-benefits-cap-live-blog?CMP=twt_gu

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  • God help us because the tories are ripping the poor to shreds ,Worried sick is an understatement ,bedroom tax pole tax cuts to benefits rising food and utility increase is going to cause civil unrest just when and how big is the answer .

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