Search

New welfare reform may see Islington families forced out of homes

16:49 02 July 2012

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing

Archant

Up to 16,000 Islington residents could be hit by government welfare reforms, according to a new report issued this week.

The document, prepared for the full Islington Council meeting on Tuesday, details the impact of the squeeze on benefits, including reassessing disability allowance and the introduction of the housing benefit cap,

According to council estimates, almost 10,000 will have their work capability assessed, many ending up about £40 a week worse off.

It also predicts that almost 1,300 households will have their housing allowance reduced by at least £100 per week.

Single parents will also suffer as 2,000 are forced to go on job seekers allowance due to new rules which mean parents will be expected to find work when their child is seven, rather than the previous age of five.

In addition, the £200 health in pregnancy grant will be abolished, while 500 people living alone in one bedroom properties will have their housing benefit cut by an average of £137 a week.

The council fears the reforms will make Islington unaffordable for many, forcing many families to leave.

This can have a negative impact on schools which lose around £3,000 per pupil –15 children left Ambler Primary School in Finsbury Park alone last year – and the council, which loses around £4,000 per child.

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, said: “This is a real crisis for people – these changes will have a huge impact on many residents.

“The time of this report is interesting because while the Prime Minister is making more proposals about cuts, here we are seeing the cuts in action.”

“They are being implemented quickly and harshly and this will result in hardship for many households.”

“We have detailed some things we can do to help – for instance the housing allowance team has already stopped 55 families becoming homeless – but we are limited in how much we can do as a council and we need to be honest about that.

“There are still 88 per cent of the cuts to come and when they do they will have a particular damaging effect.”

A recent report by homeless charity Shelter suggests a household would need an income of £72,000 a year to be able to afford a two bedroom flat in Islington.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:30
Clerkenwell has been subject to a dispersal order by Islington Police for 48 hours since Wednesday

Borough Police have placed Clerkenwell on a 48 hour lockdown using a Dispersal Order.

Yesterday, 12:21
Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing

Council warn that new build programme could suffer from goverment extension of the Right to Buy scheme

Yesterday, 12:05
Cllr Caroline Russell with Vicky Wilson in her meadow

Weed killer used by council ‘may be linked to cancer’

Yesterday, 11:55
Jeremy Corbyn and CEO of Manor Gardens, Phillip Watson with volunteers at Manor Gardens Volunteering Celebration.

The Islington North MP vows to fight for greater powers for local authorities, if elected

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder