Over 2,500 low income families have been forced out of Westminster by welfare changes since 2011, according to a report by the Chartered Institute of Housing.
The CIH’s UK Housing Review research shows that the number of people claiming housing benefit in the private rented sector has fallen by nearly a third in Westminster, from 8,580 in March 2011 to 5,893 in November 2013, a fall of 2,687 (31.3%).
The reforms in April 2011 moved Housing Benefit rates to a lower level, reduced the rates for single people aged 25 to 34, and imposed a maximum cap which ranges from £250 for a one-bedroom home to £400 for a four-bedroom home per week.
According to the report, across inner London, the number of housing benefit claimants in the private rented sector has fallen by 5.2 per cent, whereas the number of claimants has risen across the whole of London by 3.9 per cent. Across Great Britain the number of claimants has risen by 6.4 per cent.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“Under the Conservatives, Westminster is becoming more expensive and more unaffordable for people on low and middle incomes. Low income families are being moved out to the edges of London or out of London completely, while middle income families can no longer afford to buy anywhere in central London. We need more new homes at prices that low and middle income families can afford to rent and buy.”