Many of the people we see on a daily basis have come on an unthinkably difficult journey just to finally secure a settled home. It’s something many of us take for granted. After years of living on the streets, managing to maintain a home, bills and the administrative burden that comes with it is a triumph within itself. But for an increasing number of service users, this hard work and perseverance is being eroded because of huge deductions being taken … Read more
Earlier this week, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced further delays to the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) because people are not moving onto the new system fast enough. Originally planned to be completed by April 2017, the government are now saying the roll-out won’t be complete until September 2024.
At present, the only people moving to UC are those who have to make a new application because their circumstances changed. The future plan is that claimants will … Read more
Yesterday, the government announced how much housing benefits for private renters will be increased once the current benefits freeze finally ends. The news is not good.
In April 2020, Local Housing Allowance (LHA) – the housing benefit people receive for their private rental costs – will be raised in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which currently stands at a pitiful 1.7%. While any rise in benefit level is welcome, it is completely unacceptable to raise the LHA rates … Read more
From time to time, we all get into difficulty managing our money. A boiler breaking, a car needing repair, a bigger heating bill than expected. These things can hit us hard and always seem to be poorly timed, particularly if money is already tight. We all have different methods of coping, and different ways of ensuring we keep on top of all the other bills and rent. Some people try to manage by taking the hit in one go; whereas … Read more
For a long time, we’ve made a very clear argument that housing benefit for private renters, or local housing allowance (LHA), needs to be lifted up so that it covers the cost of renting.
LHA is now so far below the cost of renting in almost all areas of England that people are having to make impossible decisions about whether they cut back on food for their families or on heating their homes during winter.
This is why it’s incredibly … Read more
With the budget on 6 November cancelled, the government have further delayed taking action to lift the benefit freeze and provide stability and certainty for many in need. The benefit freeze has left Local Housing Allowance (LHA), or housing benefit for those renting privately, completely unfit for purpose, and this is pushing many people into debt, poverty, and homelessness. People are struggling to pay their rent because the LHA rate does not cover modest rents in the vast majority … Read more
Raising awareness for World Homeless Day is something we shouldn’t have to be doing. However, with almost 280,000 people – 126,000 of who are children – currently recorded as homeless in England, it’s vital that we continue to mark this day.
Homelessness goes much deeper than rough sleeping, although this is the sharpest visible reminder of the problems that come from not having a stable home. But our country’s chronic lack of social housing and welfare reforms are driving up … Read more
Yesterday, we published a report on how the people who use our services have been impacted by Universal Credit (UC). This highlights the issues the introduction of UC has caused, drawing on the voices and experiences of people affected, as well as in depth analysis of the data they have provided. Our findings have helped inform our key recommendations for moving forwards, so if the newly re-appointed Secretary of State for Department for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, needs some … Read more
Today, the Supreme Court has acknowledged that the household benefit cap is not achieving its stated aims and is inflicting poverty on people. However, the judges also declared (by a majority of 5-2) that the cap does not unlawfully discriminate against lone parents or breach the rights of their children.
As we start a new financial year, the one million households claiming Housing Benefit in the private rental sector continue to see their Local Housing Allowance (LHA) frozen.
The government is fully aware that rates now fall short of increasing rents in the vast majority of the country. Every month, renters are left with a shortfall that puts them at risk of debt and homelessness. Nonetheless, the government has insisted on enforcing the freeze until April 2020, rather than bringing … Read more
International Women’s Day is a brilliant celebration of the women we all know and look up to, including our women politicians. But as well as those with a high-profile, we should also be celebrating the thousands of women, often hidden from view, who are keeping their families going despite facing homelessness and destitution.
Every day in the UK, women are waking up in poverty because they can’t cover the costs of their rent. This is no accident. The housing benefit … Read more
Yesterday’s article by the Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), Paul Johnson, made a very welcome contribution to the growing debate that increasing social house building is the key to fixing our housing crisis. As our Social Housing Commission report showed, investment in social housing will reduce the spiralling cost of housing benefit.
As the article points out, housing benefit gets considerably less coverage when it comes to debates about homelessness. We agree it’s about time housing benefit … Read more