Thousands Get Their First Warning

Thousands get first warning they may lose their homes as benefit cuts arrive

The Government is writing to over 67,000 households in danger of losing benefits when the overall benefit cap is introduced in April 2013.

4 May 2012

Over 90,000 people will start to hear from today how they will be affected by the new benefits cap – with thousands set to lose their homes.

The Department of Work and Pensions is writing to more than 90,000 adults (over 67,000 households) in danger of losing benefits when the overall benefit cap is introduced in April 2013. The letters will be the first time households discover they could be at risk. With 44% of those set to be hit living in social housing, many are already struggling to make ends meet.

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said:

"The letters will come as a shock to many vulnerable families. The overall benefit cap is a crude measure that fails to reflect the stark differences in housing costs across the country, caused by the desperate shortage of affordable housing.

“Housing associations want to do everything to help minimise the brutal effects of the cap. But they can only do this when they know who will be affected. We’re calling on councils to share their information soon so housing associations can identify who will need support. With under a year to go before many people start losing their homes, there’s no time to lose."

The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations in England, is calling for local authorities – who will know which families may be affected –to share the data sooner rather than later, as social landlords like housing associations have less than a year to prepare tenants for the changes by helping them find work, get financial advice or a new affordable home on their new benefits.

Councils are being urged to share crucial data on which families may face benefit cuts as warning letters hit doormats from today.

In some cases people need to get  in touch with our helpline, Shelter or CAB as the letters have been sent to the wrong households as they should not have gone to homes with a disabled person – whether child or adult in them.