Communities across Britain campaign against housing benefit cuts

The week, which runs from October 10 – 16, will see local people, housing associations and charities contacting their MPs to highlight the damage the cuts would make to their local community.

Federation chief executive David Orr said: ‘The very people the Government should be helping during these tough economic times: the disabled, foster carers and families – are exactly the people who will be hammered by these measures.’

Around 50,000 families in Britain will lose nearly £5,000 on average a year when a benefits cap is introduced in 2013.

That will leave larger families with little option but to move to a cheaper area, borrow significant amounts of money or sacrifice basic living standards

Ministers are also planning to penalise social housing tenants who have a ‘spare’ bedroom in their home – even if they have lived there for decades and even if there are no suitable alternative homes into which they can downsize.

The penalty will cost 670,000 social housing tenants around £676 a year. Two thirds of those hit by the measure are disabled.

Together, the measures represent an unprecedented attack on the welfare safety net of some of the most vulnerable and poorest people in the country.

Mr Orr said: ‘Hard up families will be left with a stark choice if these proposals go ahead: either move out of your home to a cheaper area or stay put and live in hardship or debt.

‘We believe these reforms will be hugely damaging to community life and will see people priced out of their homes, away from local schools, and their support networks.’

‘With time running out to influence ministers, this week is the chance for anyone who is concerned about these proposals to stand up and be counted.’

The week will see:

 •Tenants writing to local MPs and councillors urging them to reconsider the reforms
 •MPs invited to meet local social housing tenants and see for themselves how the reforms will affect them
 •Dozens of local housing associations backing the campaign by raising awareness of the reforms within their local communities and contacting MPs and Peers directly.
 
The cap, and the under occupancy penalty, are due to be introduced in 2013 under the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill. While the cap will hit larger families in areas with high property prices, the penalty will affect disabled people, foster carers, working families on low incomes and families with young children.
 
The Federation says the cap does not take into account the significant variations in income and housing costs across the country, and excessively penalises both larger families and households in regions with higher than average rents.
 
It says the under occupancy penalty is also poorly targeted, and will do little to address the problem of over crowding.

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0 thoughts on “Communities across Britain campaign against housing benefit cuts

  1. Alexander

    The fact of the mater is only a very small percentage of 25-35 year olds that claim housing benefit are unemployed. I am 28 years old and grew up in care. I have no family at all to fall back on. I work full time in the hotel industry up to 12 hour shifts 5 days a week. I live in Camden where I have built links to the community through volunteer work and have made friends over the years in the local area. Camden is where I have built my home. My rent is subsidised by housing benefit as I could not afford to pay the rent other wise. I was born in the borough and now I have to leave. I have been on a council housing register for 3 years but with no luck. When I was in a relationship I could afford to live here as we split the rent and there was no need to claim a housing allowance. Now I am single and don’t have children I am being forced to leave my home. I have to leave my home because I haven’t popped out 2 children, immigrated from a 3rd world country and I am fortunate enough not to have a disability. Tell me where the fairness is. If my income tax was cut in half I could afford my rent. I contribute to your children’s schools, I contribute to your grand parent’s pension and I contribute to the NHS that keeps your family fairly healthy. So don’t call me a scrounger

    If you believe that this is unfair please sign my petition. Thank you for listening to my side and experience.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/12590