The Tory overall benefit cap (OBC) will kill off social housing. No ifs, no buts. It is ten times worse than the bedroom tax as the figures below reveal and we need massive awareness of this if the social housing model is to survive.
How many council, ALMO and housing association, that is social landlords know that the OBC will mean a 2 parent 3 child household will only receive a maximum of £63.52 per week in Housing Benefit or that a 1 parent 4 child household will receive just £38.22 as their maximum housing benefit under the Tory OBC proposals. Or that any larger household size will receive no housing benefit at all towards their rent?
How many social tenants realise the overall benefit cap will mean they lose their home far more and far quicker than the bedroom tax ever could?
Very few I imagine.
Yet the figures above is what the Tory OBC means outside of London from Land’s End to John O’Groats
In London, which has the higher OBC of £23,000 per year in the Tory plan the figures are £106.23 for a 2P3C household; £80.93 for the 1P4c household; and £39.07 per week maximum Housing Benefit for the 2 parent 4 child household.
This all means;
- that social landlords cannot afford to accommodate such households as the risk of arrears is too great, and
- that those households cannot afford to live in social housing which is the cheapest form of rent.
All of the above household sizes and all larger household sizes account for 1 in 4 of all social tenants and if the tenant is in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support or ESA (working group) and of working-age then they are liable for the Tory OBC – the unemployed sick and disabled in other words.
The Tory OBC will lead to huge levels of arrears evictions as the simple table below shows
The above is based on actual average 3 and 4 bed social rents in London and the rest of the country as stated in the official regulators Statistical Data Return for 2013/14 and uprates these by 2.2% for 2014/15 but does NOT include any increase for 2015/16. (So the shortfall will be about 2.2% higher than shown!)
As you can see the smallest HB shortfall is double the average bedroom tax and the largest shortfall is over ten times the bedroom tax shortfall. What all the above figures reveal however is that none of the shortfalls in HB created by the Tory overall benefit cap can be afforded and arrears and evictions and homelessness are all inevitable
As I say above the social landlord will not be able to afford to accommodate the 2 parent 3 child household or anything larger and such households will not be able to afford even the cheapest social rents right across the country due to the Tory benefit cap policy.
The previous two blog posts on this were very detailed and long yet have generated a huge number of views, none of which dissented from the impact I state and have generated a lot of direct interest via email from social landlords.
The issue needed something simple as this post to show just how the Tory overall benefit cap policy will lead to (a) mass homelessness, (b) massive financial risk for social landlord, (c) massive inaffordability for social tenants, and(d) the resulting massive increases in benefit spend (and no saving whatsoever) this will mean for the taxpayer in the inevitable homelessness the OBC directly creates.