Britain’s National Housing Federation (NHF) has predicted that the government’s cut to housing benefits will put 200,000 more people at risk of homelessness.
With the emergency budget, the government has announced plans to cut the housing benefit by 10 per cent for people who have been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for more than 12 months starting in April 2013, according to a report by The Observer.
The cuts may impact up to 200,000 people who risk losing their homes, adding to the already 140,000 homeless people in Britain. “Cutting housing benefit could have a catastrophic impact on the lives of thousands of people who – despite their best efforts – have failed to find work after 12 months,” said David Orr, the chief executive of NHF. “Quite frankly, the proposals are disturbing and unfair.”
Additionally, NHS, which represents 1,200 not-for-profit housing associations in England, stated that, “This could impact on housing associations in terms of the possibility of increased rent arrears, impacting on their revenue streams, and therefore their capacity to build new homes and deliver housing and neighbourhood services. It also fails to recognise that for some vulnerable people, and those with complex needs, one year maybe nowhere near enough time to enter paid employment, even if an individual is fully committed to doing so.”
The cuts to the housing benefit comes at a time when the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced to cabinet ministers a plan to cut up to 40 per cent of the Whitehall budget, causing even more loses to public jobs and services than previously expected with the emergency budget.