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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2012): Social housing - UK

Ghetto warning as poor priced out of 800,000 more homes

R. Ramesh

The Guardian, Jan. 2nd 2012, p. 1

A further 800,000 homes will be put out of reach of people on housing benefit because of government welfare cuts - leaving low income families the choice of cutting spending on food to pay the rent or moving out, according to a study by housing experts. The Chartered Institute of Housing has found there will be thousands more claimants than properties that are affordable on benefits alone, raising the possibility that the poor will migrate to 'benefit ghettoes' in seaside towns or the north of England. From January 2012, the government capped housing benefit payments to, for example, a maximum 250 a week on a two-bedroom home. The cut was compounded by the allowances being scaled back by pegging them to the bottom third of rents in any borough.

State to help elderly downsize

T. Ross

Daily Telegraph, Jan. 17th 2012, p. 1

The housing minister announced plans to encourage elderly home owners to downsize to smaller properties and allow councils to rent out their homes to local families in a move to ease the housing shortage. Local authorities would take over responsibility for maintaining and renting the vacated properties and would give any profits from the rental income back to the elderly person or their estate. The article presents a case study of a pilot scheme run by the London Borough of Redbridge.

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