Friday, 23 July 2010

Number of Lambeth residents affected by government's new housing cap

Back in June, I asked how many Lambeth residents would be affected by the rate cap introduced by George Osborne in the June 2010 budget.  I speculated that Lambeth would likely be affected by additional accommodation-seeking in-comers who could no longer afford Westerminster or Kensington and Chelsea.  I predicted that there would not be a mass exodus of families who received benefit over and above the new housing caps, but I was unsure, so I submitted a Freedom of Information request here.

And now the data is in... In Week 15 of 2010/2011, Lambeth were renting 24,378 properties to members of the public.  This figure does not include properties rented by tenants from private landlords paid for with housing benefits.

The number of Lambeth council households who are renting property from Lambeth Council or an affiliated Housing association or who are private tenants who claim Housing benefit over the amount of the George Osborne cap are as follows:

94 properties for 0-1 bedrooms where rent over £230
12 properties for 2 bedrooms where rent over £290
5 properties for 3 bedrooms over £340
39 properties for 4 bedrooms where rent over £400

That totals 150 households. Unfortunately, I can't provide a percentage of total Lambeth households affected because the figures for the rent exceeding the new cap include households renting privately from non-Lambeth landlords, but Lambeth haven't provided me with the number of households renting privately, only those who rent public housing. In any case, presuming that the 150 includes everybody renting privately (which has been confirmed to me in correspondence following the Freedom of Information request), it seems that the numbers of Lambeth residents affected by the cap are extremely low, which is good news. (I'm assuming that some of the people that receive more than the cap will be on the cusp eg. receiving £235 per week for a 0-1 bedroom property).

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