Impact of welfare reform changes in London

By: GfK & NPI  Published: June 2014


Summary

The studies found that:

  • For many households in London Universal Credit is unlikely to counter the effects of the LHA changes, regardless of how much work is done.
  • London’s high rents mean even if households work more hours they cannot possibly neutralise the impact of the LHA changes.
  • The national LHA cap can leave those working full time below the poverty line.
  • Lower LHA rates do nothing to improve the incentive to enter paid work.
  • Social housing has the highest work incentive as well as the lowest cost to government.
  • The research found a growing sense of insecurity amongst the families studied. There was a strong fear of eviction or homelessness amongst a number of the families interviewed.
  • Many participants reported feeling stuck, unable to move because of the costs of moving and the lack of affordable alternative accommodation.
  • There was a low understanding and awareness of discretionary housing payments.
  • Those affected by a reduction in LHA felt there was little they could do until they were evicted by the landlord or taken to court for rent arrears.

 

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