Camden council said that it would shortly be contacting 761 households, (a total of 2,816 adults and children) because the coalition’s benefit cap will mean that they will be unable to afford their current accommodation or any other home in the south-east.
The cap limits total welfare payments to £500 a week for families and when it’s imposed, families will need to find on average an additional £90 a week for rent to remain in their homes. The majority of these families have three children, reports The Guardian.
The local authority says it has been forced to look as far afield as Bradford, Birmingham and Leicester to find affordable housing for these families.
Camden councillors say the the government’s policy does not recognise the capital’s local circumstances – the borough has the fourth-highest rents in the country. London has the second-highest childcare costs in the world and house prices are pushed up because Camden’s average wage is £37,000, 42% higher than the national average.
One single mother in Camden with four young children said: “I want to stay where I am for my children’s education. What it seems like is the government just want London for the rich. They want to move people on benefits to poor areas.”
Her rent is £340 for a two-bedroom flat in Camden. When the cap comes into effect she will be left with a shortfall of £136. The council has offered to rehouse her in Liverpool.
She said: “Not being given that option to choose where you want to live and where your children go to school isn’t fair. The government is taking away people’s homes and the places where they’ve made friends. To think that someone has the power to do that over you … Obviously the government made a lot of mistakes and now everyone is taking the brunt of their mistakes.”
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