Submission: memorandum to the Work and Pensions Select Committee on the impact of the changes to Housing Benefit announced in the June 2010 Budget

Published on Tax and Welfare

This memorandum to the Work and Pensions Select Committee summarises the current position of low earners in the housing market and draws upon the Foundation’s recent research into low earners’ experiences of the private rented sector to highlight a number of potential implications of the Government’s announcements.

  • Too rich to access social housing and too poor to access home ownership, 740,000 low earning households live in the private rented sector. This tenure provides a temporary, preferable, bolt-hole for some people. For others it can provide a long-term home, often not out of choice.
  • Affordability is an issue for this group, in part because of low take-up of Housing Benefit (HB): The Department for Work and Pensions estimate that half of those in work who are eligible do not receive it. Just seven per cent of low earners currently receive HB which, administrative issues aside, provides a welcome source of support.