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A leaked government memo from Eric Pickles' Communities department to the Prime Minister David Cameron, reveals that changes to Housing Benefit and LHA, and a proposed cap on all benefits, will result in 40,000 households in Britain becoming homeless. The leaked document also predicts that affordable house building will not meet forecasts.

The memo notes that the savings from cuts to benefits will not cover the additional expense that local councils will incur dealing with this significant rise in homeless families. According to the Guardian, the number of people presenting themselves as homeless to local authorities rose 23% in the first quarter of this year.

You can read the text of the memo here on the Guardian website. James Davis, Upad CEO and a landlord who lets several properties to tenants on housing benefit isn’t surprised:

“At last some honesty! Commentators have been saying for months that the changes to benefits, especially housing benefit and local housing allowance, are going to cause a massive crisis leaving tens of thousands homeless. If anything, these predictions strike me as low. I think the number of households affected will be much higher as landlords are no longer able to operate at the lower rent levels.”

“I’m a landlord and some of my tenants are on housing benefits, but keeping them on will not be financially viable when the housing benefit cuts hit early next year. I’ll be looking for new tenants, perhaps through a Housing Association.”

“The government needs to act now to ensure that private landlords keep on taking social tenants. We are part of the solution, not the problem. If there is a surge in homelessness, local authorities will be left picking up the pieces at enormous expense. It makes much more sense to keep private landlords on side, providing affordable, good quality housing that so many tenants so desperately need.”

Creative Commons License photo credit: Clive Power

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By Dan
14 Jul 2011

Categories: Housing Benefit, Property Rentals

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