Financial aid to prepare Newham for benefit cuts

Social housing in Newham got a share of a �4 million fund to improve advice services for the thousands of tenants about to be affected by major Housing Benefit cuts.

The East London Housing Partnership, a collective of eight local authorities including Newham, bid to receive the extra financial aid in May to help them cope with benefit cuts of up to 80 percent.

Newham’s Housing Benefit allocation for this year has been slashed to �266,262, promoting fears that thousands of private tenants will have to move to cheaper accommodation as a result.

Mounting concerns led to local authority grants by the Department of Work and Pensions which intend to make the transition easier for residents by funding work with voluntary organisations, free advice services, and to improve digital support and databases used to cope with administration.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said that the current Housing Benefit expenditure “has been spiralling out of control for more than a decade.”

He added: “We want families on benefits to make the same choices as working families about where they live - but there’s no reason for anyone to be made homeless because of these measures.

“However, we are acommitted to making sure those who are making the transitiona are getting the right support and advice so that they can make confident decisions on their next steps.”