Andrew Mobbs (mobbsy) wrote,
Andrew Mobbs
mobbsy

"Shelter, the housing charity, today produced research showing that almost a third of councils outside the capital will have households facing losses of more than £50 a month following the cuts.[…] Of 283 local authorities outside the capital, 81 will see two-bedroom households in their area lose an average of £50 or more[…] Some of the worst hit live in the south-east. The loss in Cambridge is estimated at £100 a month[…]"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/08/housing-benefit-north-south-divide

I'm no supporter of the housing benefit cap, but that figure surprised me. I've some awareness of Cambridge private rental prices, and didn't think that the average rent for a 2 bedroom flat was anything like £1247 per month (£290 per week cap * 4.3 weeks per month + £100 loss). The most expensive 2 bedroom rental property in Cambridge I could find in a quick web search was £1150 pcm.

I can't find all the details of Shelter's research, but a press release that Shelter published today, that appears to be related says:
New analysis by the housing charity shows that 17 councils in the East of England will see two bedroom households in their area losing between £50 and £100 a month from next October when the changes come in, including Cambridge, Welwyn Hatfield and Rochford.


Have I misunderstood something about the housing benefit cap which means it's not as simple as comparing the weekly cap published with rental value?

Edit: Ah! I have utterly misunderstood how Local Housing Allowance works, and the caps are misleading. People in Cambridge qualifying for a 2 bedroom flat currently get up to £155.34/week according to https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/ ; and the criteria for qualification for house sizes appear to be quite strict.

I feel quite dim now, but the reporting of the issues has concentrated on these headline cap figures. I didn't realise quite how irrelevant they were outside London.
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