Cuts Watch #316: Housing Benefit cuts and older people
Age UK has said that it fears that the Housing Benefit reforms will hit up to 80,000 older people. The UK’s leading charity for older people has said that it has particular concerns about the Government’s strategy of using HB cuts to force tenants to negotiate lower rents from their landlords won’t suit older people, who may choose to cut back on essentials like food and heating, rather than lose their homes.
On average, people in private rented accommodation with be £12 a week worse off, £30 in London. Age UK fears that, for those who don’t succeed in negotiating lower rents, moving to a cheaper property will be very difficult. They point out that
many older people … are more likely to suffer with health problems or a disability, relying on support structures and services in their local area. Age UK fears that people will be forced to move to substandard accommodation in poor areas away from friends, family and facilities, which could lead to further health problems and, in turn, place greater pressure on other services.