Tories to evict veterans and domestic violence victims, in housing benefit cap chaos

Support us and go ad-free

The National Housing Federation (NHF), backed by a number of charities, has called on the UK government to confirm whether the incoming cap on housing benefit will apply to accommodation for the country’s most vulnerable citizens. The organisation claims that if specialist homes are not excluded, it could force war veterans, women escaping domestic violence, and elderly people suffering from dementia, onto the streets.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) dismissed the plea as “scaremongering”, and refused to commit to excluding such people from the cap, according to The Mirror.

George Osborne announced the housing benefit cap for social housing properties in his Autumn statement under the guise that they will:

 help prevent social landlords from charging inflated rent for their properties

However, specialist homes provide extra support for vulnerable tenants, with higher rents and charges for those services, and the NHF claims around 156,000 of these homes would be affected by the cap, which is approximately 41% of this type of housing. David Orr, the NHF’s chief executive, has said:

If this cap applies to specialist housing, tens of thousands of vulnerable people will be unable to afford the cost of their home and care. Huge numbers of people will be affected from older people and dementia patients, to disabled people and women fleeing domestic violence – they cannot go without specialist care and support.

Women’s Aid, a charity fighting domestic abuse, is supporting the demand for exclusion of specialist homes under the cap. The charity’s chief executive, Polly Neate, explained why:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

An estimated 12,000 women will stay in refuge every year, more often than not, with their children. Uncertainty about the future of housing benefit payments is already directly impacting on services plans for the future and a risk to the future of refuge provision is a risk to women and children’s lives.  We are urging Government to make clear their intentions to exempt domestic violence refuges from these regulations as a matter of urgency.

If their track record is anything to go by, the Conservative government is not likely to meet the exclusion demand. They had also intended to include carers in the cap. However, a recent high court ruling essentially forced the government to drop their policy to include carers.

It is possible those in specialist housing affected by any change in housing benefit, could follow this legal route – in order to hold the government to account. The Conservative government, however, has also taken an axe to legal aid, so access to justice through the courts is also under threat.

The UK government is showing a blatant disregard for its duty of care, and carrying out an astonishing assault on the basic rights of its citizens – in so many of its policies. Thankfully, this callousness has not gone unnoticed. The United Nations are in the process of undertaking an investigation into potential “grave or systematic violations” of the rights of disabled people by the UK government, according to various reports.

Their findings and international condemnation cannot come soon enough. And with each day and Tory policy, that passes, that list of violations gets longer.

Get involved!

Write to your MP and let them know how you feel about this policy.

Campaign with charities working with people affected by these cuts

Support The Canary, so we can keep reporting on what the UK government is doing.

Image via Flickr and Simon Gray

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed