Help us campaign against the housing benefit cuts
With proposed cuts of over £2 billion to housing benefit over the next few years, the majority of claimants will find themselves worse off.
As housing benefit rates drop further away from actual rents, tenants will have to make up more of the shortfall themselves or find cheaper accommodation elsewhere. This will lead to an increase in rent arrears, debt and homelessness with some of the most vulnerable people being hit the hardest.
Some of these cuts become law in April, but others are still in the pipeline. We welcome the Government’s decision to withdraw the proposal to cut unemployed people’s housing benefit by 10 per cent if they have not found work after a year.
We are campaigning hard to get the Government to withdraw the proposal which will affect single people under 35.
Housing benefit is paid by local authorities and helps people on a low income to pay their rent, whether they are working or not. The amount they get depends on their family circumstances, their income and the rent they pay. Currently single people under 25 have their housing benefit restricted to the cost of a room in a shared house (shared room rent).
Our campaign is focusing on the following proposed change:
- from April 2012, the shared room rent age limit will be increased from 25 to 35.
What will this change mean?
By extending the shared room rent to single people under 35, approximately 88,000 people will lose an average of £45 a week in housing benefit.
Lee is 32 and rents a one bedroom flat in Newham, East London. His maximum housing benefit is currently based on a rent level of £167 a week. In April 2012, this would be restricted to the shared room rent which is currently £72 a week. He would have to make up the shortfall of £95 a week from his other income or find somewhere cheaper to live (For someone living in Scarborough, the maximum housing benefit would drop from £85 to £48, leaving a shortfall of £37 a week).
What we are asking for
We urge the Government to reconsider and withdraw this proposal.
What you can do to help
Join our campaign to stop the cuts. Use the template letter on our website to write to your MP outlining your concerns and asking for their support in opposing this cut.
We will also monitor the impact of the housing benefit cuts being introduced from April. Watch this space to see how else you can help.
For more information