New benefits cap may lead to thousands losing their homes

New benefits cap may lead to thousands losing their homes

Propertytalk Live has reported that the new benefit cap may lead to thousands losing their homes.  The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has started writing to more than 90,000 adults within 67,000 households who have been identified as being in danger of losing benefits from April 2013 when the new overall benefit cap is introduced.  
The cap will be fixed at £500 a week for families with children.  This is equivalent to the average wage earned by working families after tax and is £26,000 annually.  The cap will be fixed at £350 a week for single adults without children.  
The letters sent out by the DWP will be the first time that the households will find out that they are at risk of losing benefits.  44% of those who will be hit by the loss of benefits are living in social housing.  Many of these households are already struggling to make ends meet.  Many of those facing difficulties are those who live in the south east and London where rents are high.  
David Orr, National Housing Federation chief executive commented: 
“The letters will come as a shock to many vulnerable families.  The overall benefit cap is a crude measure that fails to reflect the stark differences in housing costs across the country, caused by the desperate shortage of affordable housing.
“Housing associations want to do everything to help minimise the brutal effects of the cap. But they can only do this when they know who will be affected. We’re calling on councils to share their information soon so housing associations can identify who will need support. With under a year to go before many people start losing their homes, there’s no time to lose."
The National Housing Federation is calling on local authorities, who will know which households will be affected, to share this data with housing associations as soon as possible.  
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