Over 250 families in South Tyneside will be hit by benefits cap

Over 250 families in South Tyneside will be hit by a new cap on overall benefits.

Thursday, 3rd November 2016, 2:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:39 pm
Benefit changes will hit over 250 families in South Tyneside

They are among 5,000 across the North East who, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) - will fall foul of new rules which will lower the overall benefit cap from £26,000 to £20,00 in the regions.

It drops to £23,000 in London.

Coun Ed Malcolm

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The cap comes into effect on Monday and South Tyneside Council say it will effect 267 families in the borough.

Coun Ed Malcolm, lead member for resources and innovation at South Tyneside Council said: “We are doing everything we can to support people affected by radical changes to the benefits system.

“Last year we created an enhanced welfare support team to offer early help and support to vulnerable people likely to be affected by the government’s welfare reforms.

“Staff have been trained to help families in difficult circumstances understand how the cap will affect them. They are in the process of contacting all these households to offer support and help minimise the impact of the cap.”

Coun Ed Malcolm

CIH has conducted new research which shows that, nationally, the cap will hit 116,000 families across the social rented and private rented sectors - the vast majority of which are two and three-children families.

They could lose up to £115 a week.

CIH chief executive, Terrie Alafat, said the new cap could put many families at serious risk of losing their homes and render housing in significant parts of the country unaffordable for those affected.

She said: “The results of our research are extremely worrying. These families will lose out when the cap comes into effect from November 7 and in many cases will straight away face a substantial gap between their rent and the help they receive to pay for their housing.

“We are seriously concerned that this could have a severe impact on these families, make housing in large sections of the country unaffordable and risk worsening what is already a growing homelessness problem.