Councillor Dudley Mead calls on government to reconsider local housing allowance rate
A Croydon councillor is calling on the government to reconsider its plans to cap local housing allowance rates.
The government is introducing weekly caps on housing benefit of between £250 for a one-bedroom flat and £400 for a four-bedroom property, but Councillor Dudley Mead says this will price families on benefits out of the private sector and increase homelessness, piling more pressure on local authorities.
He said: "The council acknowledges there is a shortage of housing in the borough and is doing everything it can to find suitable accommodation for the homeless and reduce the financial burden on the taxpayer.
"But plans to introduce caps on local housing allowance rates will mean less private rented accommodation is available to people on benefits, particularly in London."
The Selsdon and Ballards councillor added: "Croydon and other London boroughs are a special case. They need help. We should have a regional cap based on specific circumstances.
"The fact many people are unable to get a mortgage and onto the housing ladder means more households are renting, thus reducing private rented stock available to the council.
"The amount of new private rented accommodation supply available to the council has fallen from 393 homes in 2008/09 to 31 last year.
"We need the government to recognise these difficulties and introduce regional capping of the housing allowance to help families and councils in London."