Town hall’s home rents could treble (South London press)

Posted: November 12, 2010 by lambethsaveourservices in Cutswatch
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Friday, 05 November 2010 in the South London press. Full article: http://www.southlondonpress.co.uk/news.cfm?id=39143

COUNCIL house rents could more than treble in a borough due to government reforms, figures reveal.

New tenants could see a rise of more than 330 per cent in the next year under the plans.

The Chancellor George Osborne said last month that social housing rents for new tenancies would be set at 80 per cent of the private sector.

In Southwark, the council said this would see the average weekly cost for a four-bedroom home increase from £95 to £416.

A three-bedroom home would increase from £86 to £322 and a two-bed from £80 to £193.

From April next year the Government also plans to cut local housing benefit.

It will be £250 a week for a one-bedroom property, £290 a week for a two-bed, £340 a week for a three-bed and £400 for a property with four bedrooms or more.

Councillors believe thousands of people will not be able to afford the higher rents and be forced to live elsewhere or seek help from town halls to be housed in temporary accommodation such as B&Bs.

Lambeth council said it had started to house people in B&B accommodation after a major supplier of temporary properties said it was no longer accepting housing benefit tenants.

Lambeth’s cabinet member for housing Councillor Lib Peck said: “A lot of the private landlords will just withdraw from the scheme because they won’t get enough money from housing benefits.

“We are going to face a real problem with housing people. These are people who are classified as homeless and need temporary accommodation.

“Bed and breakfast accommodation is awful. It is costly and unsuitable for the people who live there.”

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