The overall benefit cap – a means test for social housing and child abuse

Prospective Tenant:  Hello I’d like a 3 bed property please.

HA Officer:    Sorry you can’t afford one no can do

Tenant:  I beg your pardon!

HA Officer: You and your wife are on benefit and have 3 kids …

Tenant: … And?

HA Officer: You will only get £50 pw in HB and the rent is £96 pw

Tenant: What!

HA Officer: The overall benefit cap reduces in November and means this

Tenant: So where will we live?

HA Officer: Not with us, go see the council

Tenant: So where will we live?

HA Officer: That’s up to the council

Tenant: But where will we live!!!!

HA Officer: Sir, I understand your frustration and I advise you go to the council

Tenant: Hello I’d like a 3 bed property for , me the wife and the 3 kids

Council:  Sorry Sir you can’t afford as you get £50 pw in HB and the rent is £85pw

Tenant: But you have duties to house us!

Council: No Sir, but the council’s homeless department do

Tenant: But you are the council

Council: Yes the council landlord department and we won’t house you

Tenant: so I have to go to the homeless department and neither you or a HA landlord will accommodate us?!

Council: Yes Sir.

Tenant: So where will we live?

Council: That’s up to the council homeless department

Tenant: So where will we live?

Council: Sir, you haven’t heard this from me, but most likely the homeless department will offer your family 2 rooms in a B&B Hotel and wherever is available

Tenant: You mean the other side of the city as in …

Council: …. No Sir as in the other end of the country wherever is cheapest ….

The above is a likely conversation from 7 November 2016 just 11 weeks away (and not a scene from a Kafka play) when the overall benefit cap reduces by £115.38 per week in all areas outside of London, from the lowest rent area to the highest rent area as the maximum amount of housing benefit a couple with 3 children can receive is £50.68 per week, or as low as £21.63 if a parent is on ESA and in the work related activity group or ESA WRAG.

In some areas of the country this means test and denial of social housing will happen if the couple has just two children who will get just £117 in housing benefit if on JSA when the 3 bed target social rent in some parts of the regions can be over £150 per week – and yes that is a social rent level not the so called “affordable” (sic) rent level.

obc-3bed target rents il home coun and crewe

Yes that does mean the couple with two children will only get £117 per week in housing benefit towards a 3 bed housing association property with a social rent level of £154 per week and will be £37 per week short of the rent.

It also means social landlords will be queuing up to evict existing tenants whose housing benefit will be cut dramatically from November and who will face an average weekly HB cut of around £76 per week.

The couple with 3 children will only get £50.68 per week in HB towards the 3 bed property in Elmbridge and so have a £100+ per week cut in Housing Benefit and if in Crewe will get a £40+ per week cut against a social rent level of £93.81 in the above chart.

Of course Private landlords will stop taking benefit tenants altogether and will evict existing ones willy nilly … and the so-called ‘affordable’ (sic) rent models beloved of housing associations become total no go zones to any benefit tenant too and these so-called ‘affordable’ rented properties are all that housing associations want to build too!

It will only affect 120,000 households says the latest DWP scan – which is still over 400,000 children who will be evicted by the way; a scan so lacking in any credibility whatsoever that the original DWP estimate was between 94,799 and 177, 213 and ruining the life chances of up to 592,000 children being evicted.  The fact I strongly believe the figure will be at least 210,000 families affected with over 700,000 children is in part a sideshow and deflection when 400,000 children made homeless in the risible DWP scan would see the current 100,000 homeless children in temporary homeless provision quintuple to 500,000!

That’s a city larger than the size of Liverpool full of just homeless children on this risibly low DWP scan.

At an absolute minimum 500,000 children who have no hope of a home with a council a housing association or a private landlord.  500,000 children whose education and other life chances are irreparably damaged because the dangerous idiot called Iain Duncan Smith came up with the overall benefit cap policy that sees social housing become a means test and reveals that the families most in need can NOT get a permanent roof over their heads … and IDS calls this welfare when child abuse is a much more accurate description


9 thoughts on “The overall benefit cap – a means test for social housing and child abuse

  1. Like seems a terrible thing on an article like this because this quite sickeningly awful act is beyond contempt.

    Where on earth are people supposed to go? Is there ANYWHERE in the country where the rent is low enough for those already trying to survive on a pittance?

    What comes next? families torn apart? Children placed in care for their own safety? From there adopted out with the monster that is the family court silencing the parents?

  2. I have a feeling Joe that come November everyone will be willing to contribute say £10.00 towards your TGC idea. When they are actually feeling the affects of the changes . I for one, am willing to pay now. Its our only hope…

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