Wakefield Families Face Tory Housing Benefit Cuts
Wakefield MP Mary Creagh has hit out at government cuts to housing benefit which will mean thousands of people in privately rented properties in the district having to find an extra £500 a year just to pay their rent.
Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions show that in Wakefield around 2000 people in one bedroom properties and 1700 people in 2 bedroom properties could lose up to £8 per week towards the cost of their rent. Over 450 families in 3 bed properties could lose up to £13 per week.
Mary Creagh said “The Tories are pushing thousands of people into poverty and homelessness across the country. I’m appalled that in Wakefield District over 4000 people renting from private landlords will be made to pay more for their rent. The Tories talk about giving people more choice. These cuts will mean low income families and pensioners facing a stark choice between finding an extra £500 a year – going into debt or losing their homes. At a time when the government is refusing to match Labour’s commitment to building more affordable housing, it is irresponsible to make cuts that will only increase demand for social housing in Wakefield.”
“The government should be addressing the national housing crisis. Labour embarked on the biggest council housing programme for a generation. We still need more houses, not cuts which force people into poverty and out of their homes.”
DWP source: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/impacts-of-hb-proposals.pdf
Tables 7 and 8
The cuts are as a result of a number of changes to the way Local Housing Allowance (LHA - Housing Benefit payments to people renting in the private sector) is calculated.
• From next year LHA will be calculated based on the bottom 30% of local market rent instead of the bottom 50% which is currently used.
• LHA will be linked to the consumer prices index which does not include house prices, rather than the higher retail prices index which is currently used.
The figures only relate to people renting in the private sector. Every single person on housing benefit who rents their home from a private landlord in Wakefield will lose money as a result of these cuts.
The Government is also cutting Housing Benefit payments by 10% for people who are unemployed for more than a year from 2013. This will save the government £110 million by 2014/15. However, with more people likely to be unemployed as a result of the 2010 Budget this saving may be cancelled out. This will affect people renting in both private and social housing.
For more details on the proposals and their impact on people privately renting click on the links below.