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Section: Housing Benefit

Rising rents and frozen benefits freezing people out of the housing market

Posted 11.07.17
Savills: Article link

Growing numbers of housing benefit claimants living in privately rented homes are struggling to make ends meet against a backdrop of rising rents and frozen local housing allowance.

Housing benefit payments will no longer cover the full rental bill for properties at the 30th percentile of local rents in over 99% of England's Broad Rental Market Areas, according to Policy Response: Impact of the LHA Freeze, published by Savills in conjunction with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The local housing allowance, intended to be equivalent to the 30th percentile market rent since April 2011, was fixed in April 2016 and is frozen until 2020 to help control the benefits bill, having been increased by just 1% a year in 2014 and 2015.

Private rents have risen at an average rate of 1.9% in the five years to April 2016 and 3.1% in London.

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NI social housebuilding threatened by new benefit cuts

Posted 06.07.17
Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Northern Ireland: Article link

Social housebuilding in Northern Ireland is being threatened by benefit cuts planned by the UK Government, according to a new report.

The report, from the CIH Northern Ireland, warns that plans by the Conservatives to further cut housing benefit, including a new measure dubbed the 'new bedroom tax for pensioners', will make housing affordability worse.

Thr report says that the planned cuts would not only increase the risk of rent arrears, eviction and homelessness, but they would also have a knock on effect for the ability to build new social homes.

The report recommends that urgent action be taken to introduce changes in Northern Ireland that lessen these impacts.

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Reporting on July 2017

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