Government welfare cuts are reducing the income levels of many households, which could create more demand on Council services Croydon’s Cabinet is being told on Monday 11 July.
- All working households claiming universal credit have seen their monthly work allowance fall from £222 to £192 per month.
- Non-working households subject to the benefit cap of £23,000 and will see a further reduction of £58.31 per week.
In Croydon 215 of the latter households face ‘a significant risk of eviction’, of whom 90 ‘will require a move to homes outside London and the South East; the remainder will need other interventions to prevent homelessness.’
653 households with over 1,750 children in Croydon will be affected by the benefits cap for the first time.
The Council is owed £14m in housing benefit overpayment. At £3 a week repayment received from continuing benefit payments, the Council calculates it will lose £2.4m a year.
The backdating of housing benefit has been reduced from 6 months to 1 month, so that there is less income for the Council.
From next April the housing benefit for single people under 25 will be reduced from £152 to £82 per week.
From April 2017 all new applicants under universal credit will have their assessments limited to 2 children.
Homelessness will cost Croydon more
The number of households approaching the Council for assistance with homelessness increased from 1,680 in 2009/10 to 2,520 in 2015/16. The number of households accepted as homeless increased over the same period from 425 to 637, and the number living in temporary accommodation increased from 1,267 to 3,137.
The Council warns that ‘the number of households accepted as homeless and the Council’s use of temporary accommodation will continue to increase.
‘Structural economic and housing market factors support this conclusion. While the economy is expected to continue to grow, which is positive for employment and homelessness; there are concerns that access to market housing will be affected by the rate at which household incomes are likely to rise in comparison to house prices and private rents.’
‘Affordability is an increasingly significant issue for households in Croydon, despite the fact that house prices and private sector rents are lower than London overall.’