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LHA Caps forcing tenants out of their homes

Housing benefit cuts, particularly in London are resulting in an economic cleansing of benefit claimants who are being forced out to areas of cheaper rent.

Changes to LHA which came in for new tenants last year and for existing tenants from the start of this month has capped the benefit to £400 for a four-bed home, £340 for a three-bed home, £290 for a two-bed home and £250 for a one bed home in the London area.

One local tenant, whose benefit is being capped at £400 per week has a rent more than double the LHA rate has highlighted that in his neighbourhood, which has predominantly LHA based tenants, removal vans were turning regularly up as people were being “forced” to move out and taking their children out of the local schools.

Westminster City Council estimates that the changes to the LHA rules means the new caps will affect approximately 5,000 households and in order to help out families has secured £1.1m in Discretionary Housing Payments for 2011/12 to help some families to stay in the borough.

It’s widely believed that these Housing benefit cuts, particularly in London are resulting in an economic cleansing of benefit claimants who are being forced out to areas of cheaper rent.

The Chartered Institute of Housing estimated that over 800,000 housing benefit tenants are now being priced out of the rental market by these cuts and concerns about benefit cuts are spreading.

In many cities where the market for rented property has a large demand from salaried tenants looking for properties there is rising rents. Many agents and landlords see no reason why landlords would bother to negotiate a lower rent with tenants on benefits.



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