A study has found rural social tenants are being forced into poverty due to welfare reform
A study has been carries out by the London School of Economics on behalf of eleven housing associations has found that 95% of people were “struggling or just managing” financially, as welfare reform is causing a large cut in incomes.
The report is based on 200 interviews with tenants in the south west and has found they were cutting back on essential items such as food, dipping into savings, borrowing money and selling their belongings to cope with welfare reform.
Whilst many said they would like a job, 57% of households had no one in work due to disabilities, ill-health and caring responsibilities, reports Inside Housing.
Within the report it also came to light that incentives to work were not always clear, due to low wages and insecure contracts. Travel costs also placed barriers in remote areas.
The report, produced by Professor Anne Power, concludes: “Generally, the baseline findings show that tenants view the welfare reforms as a great uncertainty that has the potential to disturb carefully managed, but limited household budgets. Almost all tenants report high levels of anxiety around coping day to day due to reduced resources and uncertainty about their economic future and impending benefit changes.”
Paul Crawford, chief executive of 20,000-home landlord DCH and chair of the Housing Association Influence and Leadership Organisation which commissioned the report, said: “This research looks at whether the government’s policies are delivering the expected outcomes, and what we as affordable landlords can do to support our residents.”
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