Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Benefits cap leads to eviction notices in trial area

Social landlords in Haringey say changes to welfare system are forcing them to take legal proceedings to terminate leases.

 In the first tangible proof that the cap would lead to rising levels of homelessness, one of Britain's biggest social landlords, Genesis, has issued a warning to tenants in Haringey – a London borough chosen by ministers to test plans to limit benefit payments to £26,000 a year – saying that it will now need to start legal proceedings to "terminate our lease". 

The letter from Genesis says it has been forced into taking these steps because of the "significant changes being currently introduced to the welfare benefit system".

The letter warns that, if the tenants do not offer a defence, a court can force eviction within 14 days. 

The overall benefit cap set at £500 per week, or £350 for single people, was introduced in four London local authorities – Enfield, Bromley, Croydon and Haringey – in mid-April, and will be rolled out nationally later in the year.

The Department for Work and Pensions has estimated that 56,000 households will be hit, with an average weekly loss of £93. The majority will be families with children.

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