Some 600 Crawley people to be affected by housing benefit cap, study suggests

Peter Lamb and Duncan Crow SUS-140623-110427001
Peter Lamb and Duncan Crow SUS-140623-110427001

Some 600 people in Crawley would be affected by a new housing benefit cap, a study has suggested.

A Crawley Labour Group statement said at least 579 tenants living in supported or sheltered housing in town could have their homes come under threat of closure because of the Tory decision to cap housing benefit for social tenants to the level available for private rents.

It stated vulnerable and elderly tenants often used the benefit to meet the high rents in specialist housing but has been branded ‘typical innacurate scaremongering’ by Crawley council’s Conservative leader of the opposition.

Peter Lamb, Labour Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “With a growing elderly population and the town’s ongoing issues with homelessness, these changes are the last thing Crawley needs. Rather than helping the council with our four-year plan to build 1,000 more affordable homes, ultimately saving the Treasury money, the Government has yet again chosen to make Crawley’s housing problems harder to solve.”

Duncan Crow, Conservative opposition leader, said: “This is typical inaccurate scaremongering from an increasingly extreme and desperate Labour Party. Cynically scaring the vulnerable is the modus operandi of Labour in Crawley and I won’t take any lectures from them about housing. Most of the new housing in Crawley has been enabled by the Conservatives and if Labour had their way, all the conversions of empty office blocks in the town centre into much-needed housing wouldn’t be happening.”

The cap was announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement.

It was due to come into force in April 2018 but was to affect new tenancies from April 2016.

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