I’m writing to express our deep concern about the hardship that will hit vulnerable people if the government goes ahead with a change in housing benefit. It recently announced a cap on housing benefit paid to tenants in social housing.
Under current proposals, the cap would apply to some of the most vulnerable people we house. These groups include elderly people, homeless veterans and victims of domestic violence. If applied to these people, the cap would have a devastating effect on their housing.
According to the National Housing Federation, the change would hit vulnerable people by an average of £68 a week and at least 82,000 homes for these groups would be forced to close.
In our own organisation as many as 1,300 older people living in sheltered housing and 260 people needing specialist support will lose a total of £2m each year. More than a thousand of our vulnerable customers live in the Ryedale district.
We understand the government needs to make savings but, in reality, this would be an own goal, simply increasing the burden on the public purse as these people seek more costly provision in the private sector.
We urge the government to clarify this is not the case so these schemes can be saved.