Homes for the vulnerable under threat
In November George Osborne announced the decision had been taken to cap housing benefit which - if applied to vulnerable people like the elderly, homeless veterans and victims of domestic violence - would have a devastating effect on their housing.
The cap will see housing benefit payments limited to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels, which is set according to the lowest 30% of market rents in an area.
Supported housing schemes typically charge higher than market rents to help pay for the additional services and would therefore be severely impacted by the move. The cap would come into effect from April 2018, but would apply to all new tenants from April this year.
According to the National Housing Federation, this change would hit vulnerable people by an average of £68 a week and at least 82,000 homes for these groups would be forced to close. Within emh group 1,768 elderly and vulnerable tenants would be affected, leading to an annual income shortfall of £3.7m. We urge Government to clarify that this is not the case and that these schemes can be saved.
Chan Kataria, emh group Chief Executive, said: “We are deeply concerned about the effect this will have on some of the most vulnerable people in society. It will also have a significant impact on our plans to build more homes for people who need specialist care and support.”