HB cleansing from Inner to Outer London characterises the coalition welfare reforms and the figures which prove it are the latest official DWP HB statistics. These also prove the homeless diaspora I first discussed back in 2011. These HB figures were published a few weeks ago and account for a full 4 year period from May 2010 to May 2014.
In that time the overall number of HB claimants has increased by 4.93% and in keeping with my previous post on inter and intra regional different impacts of the welfare reforms I have looked at the HB official figures in the same way.
Here are the regional increases in HB claimants since the election:
North East 4.93 % : North West : 4.49% : Yorks & Hum 6.43%: East Mid : 5.36%: West Mid 4.2% :
East : 5.69% : South East 5.81% : South West 6.02% : London (Inner & Outer) 4.93%
Notice how very similar they are and no marked regional differences in England? Now look what has happened in Inner London and Outer London in the graphs below and note the average increase in Inner London is a mere 0.1% in the HB claimant count yet in Outer London it is 8.55% and way above any other area of England.
If the economy in London is booming as we are often told by the coalition then you would expect all of London to have a marked reduction in the HB claimant count as many more would be employed. Yet we only see 6 Inner London boroughs with a reduced claimant count.
Oh dear it can’t be that London is booming as look at the above figures in which you would expect the HB claimant count to have fallen! Yet in every single one of the Outer London boroughs the HB claimant count has risen and risen on average by 8.55% which is a whopping 73% more than the national average increase in the HB claimant count.
The ONLY explanation is that Inner London boroughs have been moving the HB claimant out of Inner London into cheaper Outer London boroughs. Inner London is being cleansed of the HB scrounger under the coalition.
Notice Enfield above with a rise of 13.65% in the number of households claiming HB in that borough since the election. Then read an excellent but overlong (pot calling kettle with me I know!) article in the Guardian in the last day or so which says that one London borough has placed 1000 households in Enfield. It gave a few outline figures to show what this is costing Enfield:
The 300,000-resident borough has sprouted what is in effect a large village of 2,200 households, say 9,000 people, living in temporary accommodation. That’s the seventh highest of all local authorities, and it keeps climbing. Housing families who no longer receive the benefits or other income to house themselves costs Enfield £3.3m a year. Growing demand and rising rents means that sum is projected to more than double this financial year, to £7.8m
Not only do we have central government transferring cost to local government generally with the welfare reforms and especially in London with the LHA reforms and the overall benefit cap; we also have Inner London boroughs transferring cost on to Outer London boroughs.
The cleansing of Inner London is just a double whammy for Outer London boroughs…and to all the other parts of the country that all London boroughs are transferring the families made homeless by the LHA reforms and benefit cap.
Here’s a very recent report on LB Brent having a 426% increase in out of borough homeless placements which goes into some detail on how these households became homeless.
Here’s an earlier piece from July in Inside Housing which says the number has tripled since 2012/13 which has some information on out of area placements from London to nearby areas of the South East.
Since the national media brouhaha over the Newham to Stoke proposal was made public back in 2012 it has been clear the homeless diaspora has been taking place incrementally with the impact of the LHA reforms and more recently the overall benefit cap.
We have also seen the likes of Sandwell in the West Midlands put into operation unlawful council tax policies which included a residency requirement before a reduction was given in council tax replacement to those on benefit – as has Tendring. Further we have seen the likes of Barnet state that you need to have a demonstrable residence of 5 years there to qualify for the housing waiting list there which is a reaction to the influx of the homeless diaspora and the Nearly Legal article discusses whether this is legal.
Yet regardless of whether the Barnet reaction to this homeless diaspora and HB cleansing of Inner London is lawful or not or however moral or not it may be you only have to look at the graph above to see its HB claimant counts has increased by over 17% since the election and due to the LHA reforms and benefit cap.
This piece in summary highlights the outrageous consequences of the back of a fag packet welfare reform policies of the coalition. While IDS et all may chirp this makes HB claimants cut their cloth and not live where others cant afford, it also dumps them and their costs onto Outer London boroughs and further afield and simply exports London’s ridiculous house price inflation in an ever widening bubble to the rest of the UK – in short the HB bill will rise even further.
If London is supposedly so booming and exhibiting so much economic growth too as we are told by the coalition then the HB figures, the official DWP produced figures prove that growth is a chimera which is not translating into lower HB claimants.
Sorry IDS its those pesky facts again!!