"This government’s laissez-faire approach and view ‘that it’s up to them to pay their rent’ is totally naïve. It will see many tenants spiral into debt and landlords left to foot the bill. In the first quarter of this year, there was been a 16% rise in homelessness and I fear these housing benefit changes will only exacerbate this problem.
"Ironically, Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud has pledged to protect landlords, yet these reforms will afford landlords no protection. Worse, the announcement follows last year’s LHA housing benefit cuts which has had a major impact on social housing and private landlords. These new reforms may dissuade some landlords from housing social tenants completely – a situation which could leave millions of tenants at risk of losing their homes or being evicted.
"When the reductions in LHA housing benefits were announced last year, 58% of landlords said they would cut the number of properties let to benefit recipients, with a third of landlords saying they will act on this immediately. What incentive do landlords have to house social housing tenants when they are clearly facing a huge financial risk?
"The consequences of the government cuts combined with these new payment reforms will have a direct impact on the elderly. Many of our elderly tenants receive housing benefits and they are struggling now to make ends meet because of the increased costs of living in the UK . They have no means of earning extra money yet it seems the government’s sweeping welfare reforms still doesn’t consider the needs of this vulnerable group. This so called ‘welfare’ reform is totally flawed and hasn’t been thought through – when will the government view housing in a holistic and joined up way?"
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