CSR 2010: Housing Benefit cuts for single people
The June Budget already contained savage cuts to Housing Benefit. And today there was one more – the shared room rate (the rate of benefit paid to single homeless people who are aged under 25) was extended to homeless adults aged 25-34. This means that the amount of Housing Benefit that single adults in a ten year age bracket can receive has fallen dramatically. To give an illustration the shared room rate in Glasgow City is currently £69.23 a week, compared to the one-bed rate of £98.08. The situation is even starker in London. In Waltham Forest (an outer ‘affordable’ borough) the shared room rate is currently £79.88, while the one-bed rate is £149.59. In parts of London this change will consign adults aged 25-34 to (at best) hostel accommodation – there is simply no other accommodation that they will be able to afford. It also raises questions about where those in this age bracket who cannot be accommodated in shared rooms (for example ex-offenders leaving prison or people with severe mental or physical health problems) will go.