7 December 2010

In the face of a barrage of criticism of its plans to cut local housing allowance, the coalition have delayed its introduction for existing claimants to allow them time to make new arrangements, but brought it forward for new claimants.

A cap on the maximum weekly amount of local housing allowance for properties with 1-4 bedrooms and an end to payments for 5 bed properties was to have been introduced in April 2011.  The caps are: £250 for a 1 bed property; £290 for a 2 bed property; £340 for a 3 bed property; £400 for a 4 bed property.

This will still go ahead for new claimants from that date, but existing claimants will get up to 9 months transitional protection.

From October 2011, local housing allowance was to have been assessed on the cheapest 30% of properties, rather than the cheapest 50% as now, leading to a shortfall in payments for many tenants.

This measure has now been brought forward to April 2011 for new claimants but, again, existing claimants will get up to 9 months transitional protection.

Meanwhile, the impact assessment produced by the DWP on how cuts to housing benefit will affect poorer families states  that almost a million families are likely to suffer as a result. 

It warns of overcrowding, eviction, homelessness, disruption to children’s education, the need for temporary classrooms in some schools and costly surplus places in others as large numbers of people are forced to relocate and gaps and delays in support for people with disabilities.

The impact assessment is available from this link:



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