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Housing Benefit Cap Forces Families To Leave Central London Or Be Homeless


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#1 interestrateripoff

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:30 AM

http://www.guardian....-central-london

Since the start of the year, staff at primary schools across central London (which have a much more local catchment area than secondaries) have begun working with parents to help families avoid being evicted as the consequences of the reduction in housing benefit begin to be felt.

In Westminster, the borough most affected by the housing benefit cap, some schools could see up to 43% of pupils affected by the reduction in housing benefit, according to the council's preliminary forecasts, and across the borough 17% of primary pupils could be forced to move, internal data suggests.

Although the process is only just beginning, headteachers and school governors are concerned at the disruption and say that the process of trying to support families who face losing their homes is proving time-consuming for staff.

The cap on local housing allowance payments (the housing benefit paid to people in the private rental sector), which came into effect last month, is already causing an upheaval of families in central London, as parents who are no longer able to afford the rent on their family homes struggle to find alternative accommodation. Some families have already been forced into B&Bs or homeless hostels because the housing benefit they receive is no longer enough to cover their rent. Charities and local MPs say that over the next year, other families will be forced to leave the area, will crowd into smaller flats, or will try to meet the shortfall in rent by saving on food and heating expenditure.


Spin or is the economic adjustment starting to happen. Clearly lowering rents is out of the question...
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#2 Warwick-Watcher

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:37 AM

http://www.guardian....-central-london

Tough. Let them move to somewhere cheaper. Why are teachers helping anyway - we've got loads of social workers, outreach this and that workers for this. Real asylum seekers would be happy to be housed and fed in Middlesbrough or Glasgow. Why do they think they should be able to live in central London all the time?

Spin or is the economic adjustment starting to happen. Clearly lowering rents is out of the question...



#3 blackgoose

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 08:37 AM

Add school teachers in central london to the VI in keeping the money flowing. Heaven forbid that they get jobs at schools in the outskirts of London.

#4 Trampa501

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:03 AM

I can't see rents falling in central London - there will always be Poles or Aussies or Spanish willing to share 4 to a room in order to realise their dream of working in McDs, a restaurant or coffee shop in London... The demand will always be there. I suppose it could help reduce the costs of providing schools in central London, as the families are forced out.
If anything this may help stabilise rents in outer London as more people move away from the centre?
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#5 frederico

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:31 AM

Oh well better find another school pronto
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#6 richc

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

This article really makes me angry.

The BBC ran a programmea couple of days ago about the challenges faced by people working for local housing associations, and it raised a lot of interesting questions, but part of the show was about a woman who had just had her leg amputated and didn't have anywhere to live. She was forced to live in the hospital for six months (great use of money, that), until the council were able to find a bungalow that was wheelchair accessible. This bungalow was dire -- it looked like no maintenance had been done on the place since 1972 -- peeling paint, dirty carpets, lino coming up from the floor. Here was a person who really needed help, and they're dumped into some hole because all of the money in the system is going to these wasters in central London who think that they're too good to live outside Zone 1.

A few miles away in Camden, Jo Stoakes has been living in an emergency hostel with her three children since she was evicted from her basement flat by her landlord last October, when it became clear that housing benefit reductions meant she would no longer be able to afford the rent. She was paying 525 a week, but the housing benefit, after the cap, would have paid only 340, and she was unable to make up the difference. She shares a small room with her five-year-old daughter; her 16-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son have been allocated rooms, separately, further along the institutional corridor of this council-run shelter.


Yeah, right, a 20 year old and a 5 year old -- as if this woman didn't plan her kids in order to maximize her life on benefits.

#7 thecrashingisles

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

So many things wrong with that story.

Why is it the teachers business to help people to stay in the local area? If staying in a B&B is cheaper than their previous housing benefit level then they were getting too much. Even at 40 a night that's 1200 per month per person!

#8 TheCountOfNowhere

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:45 AM

I'd like to live somewhere fabulous and handy for work but my ability to buy/rent somewhere is capped by the amount of tax I have to pay, the high cost of living and my earning potential.

I have no choice.

Life is hard.

#9 MRMX9

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:47 AM

Isn't it outrageous and a breech of their human rights that these poor people might be forced to leave central London - and move dare I say it to the horrors of outer London and zones 4-6.

But come on - isn't that where all the people who work hard, pay the taxes that fund housing benefit and pay their own way have to live. Cos they - along with 99% of the UK population cannot afford to pay 500k for a one bed flat or 500 a week rent in central London.

Let alone those poor central London Labour MPs who will lose their seats - because most of their voters are only living there due to the benefits system.

#10 SarahBell

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:48 AM

Did they assist repossessed families as much?

And if there's a LOT OF FAMILIES affected then surely moving them all to the same area will keep some friend structure in place?
Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

#11 aSecureTenant

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:50 AM

This article really makes me angry.

The BBC ran a programmea couple of days ago about the challenges faced by people working for local housing associations, and it raised a lot of interesting questions, but part of the show was about a woman who had just had her leg amputated and didn't have anywhere to live. She was forced to live in the hospital for six months (great use of money, that), until the council were able to find a bungalow that was wheelchair accessible. This bungalow was dire -- it looked like no maintenance had been done on the place since 1972 -- peeling paint, dirty carpets, lino coming up from the floor. Here was a person who really needed help, and they're dumped into some hole because all of the money in the system is going to these wasters in central London who think that they're too good to live outside Zone 1.



The social housing haters on here think you get offered a palace. You don't. Quite often the places require decoration (sometime decorating vouchers are available). Its also pretty standard to rip out all carpets when the tenancy changes. Not every authority has brought up social housing to the acceptable housing standard. Luckily mine has (new kitchen, bathroom, shower and central heating) and I was fortunate to get a place in good decorative order.

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#12 Bloo Loo

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:54 AM

The social housing haters on here think you get offered a palace. You don't. Quite often the places require decoration (sometime decorating vouchers are available). Its also pretty standard to rip out all carpets when the tenancy changes. Not every authority has brought up social housing to the acceptable housing standard. Luckily mine has (new kitchen, bathroom, shower and central heating) and I was fortunate to get a place in good decorative order.


you dont need a palace...If you are going to have to fork out to make the place "home", then what you need is assurance you arent going in 12 months...or 2 months.
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#13 richc

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

The social housing haters on here think you get offered a palace. You don't. Quite often the places require decoration (sometime decorating vouchers are available). Its also pretty standard to rip out all carpets when the tenancy changes. Not every authority has brought up social housing to the acceptable housing standard. Luckily mine has (new kitchen, bathroom, shower and central heating) and I was fortunate to get a place in good decorative order.


I did notice in the programme that the housing association offices were in a brand new building and nicely furnished.

#14 aSecureTenant

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:00 AM

you dont need a palace...If you are going to have to fork out to make the place "home", then what you need is assurance you arent going in 12 months...or 2 months.


well exactly, its more like moving into a place you own, and you get a secure tenancy after being a good tenant for at least 12 months.

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#15 madpenguin

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:08 AM

well exactly, its more like moving into a place you own, and you get a secure tenancy after being a good tenant for at least 12 months.



Social housing is the UK or more particularly London's big problem, the old "If you can't afford it then you don't deserve to live here" argument falls down when you actually need to get things done at a basic level

In the early 2000 I stayed in Bracknell which because of the computer industry property and rentals had gone through the roof; there where constant moans in the press and employers generally that people were unable to fill posts for the more ordinary jobs including police and the other emergency services because it was simply not possible for someone on an ordinary wage to live or commute there.




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