Benefits capped for 300 Brighton and Hove families

Posted On 16 Aug 2013 at 5:44 pm

The coalition government is capping welfare benefits for 300 families in Brighton and Hove.

It introduced the benefits cap from
Monday (12 August), Brighton and Hove City Council said.

The reduction in benefit payments will be made by cutting the amount of housing benefit that a family receives.

Families will be capped to a maximum of £500 a week and single people to £350 a week. The actual reductions in benefit will range from a few pounds a week to more than £300 a week.

xmas collections

The council has been planning for these changes for a number of months. Officials are carefully checking each family or individual that the government says is affected to make sure that the information matches council-held data.

The council said: “In cases where the cap does apply a range of options is available from helping families into work or with moving to different accommodation.

“This work also includes looking at whether the council can support that family in the short term.

“This will particularly be the case where there may be a risk of the family becoming homeless.

“Teams from across the council including Welfare Reform, Revenues and Benefits, Housing, Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Stronger Families Stronger Communities and Welfare Rights are working alongside the Jobcentre Plus to support these families.”

Councillor Bill Randall said: “It is vital that families understand these new measures and understand what help is available.

“We’ve been told by the Department for Work and Pensions of about 300 cases in the city.

“That could be 300 families who need support through these changes and we are doing everything we can to help them.”

The council said that anyone who thinks that they may be affected by the benefits cap should contact the council’s Revenues and Benefits Team.

The team can be reached in person in the customer service centre at Barts House, opposite Brighton Town Hall, by telephone on 292000 or by email housing.benefits@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

There is more information about the benefits cap at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/benefit-changes.

  1. Valerie Paynter Reply

    A few years ago, a neighbour whose mother had died was told she had to vacate the two bed council flat which had already passed once from husband to wife and she had no right to ‘inherit’ the tenancy. She fought and fought and eventually took an alternative one-bed flat which became available in the same tower block. Not the end of the story.

    The two-bed flat she had grown up in and lived in until both parents had died, the family home, was re-let to an elderly couple who would normally only have qualified for a one bed flat.

    Are they still there and now having to cough up for the “extra” bedroom? And why was it let to them instead of, say, a couple with a child in need of that second bedroom?

    Why was a two-bed flat let by BHCC to a couple who later swapped with someone else on the estate who had a one-bed? Not such a bargain swap for the lady who took the two-bed with lawn access. She is now having her housing benefit for that extra room questioned/removed and she has struggled to justify it.

    The way flats and houses are let by BHCC council housing is erratic and dependent on who bids for what when something becomes available. And it does me premises that are too big compared to qualification do get let anyway because at the time nobody else bid for them (or some other reason).

    This is more than likely because of the pressure to re-let quickly (to gain a good tick box statistic). When flats are left empty now it is because they are being transferred from permanent council housing lets to Seaside Homes for refurbishment and short-lets.

    One size fits all legislation is not responsible legislation. Life is just not that convenient.

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