Saturday, 14 July 2012

Numbers of children impacted by Housing Benefit (LHA) changes in Camden

Cllr. Angela Mason and I attended a Labour school governors meeting last week to share data on the possible impact of Local Housing Allowance (aka Housing Benefit) changes in Camden on our schools.

In all we have data for almost 492 children from households impacted by changes ranging from £1 a week extra to £150 a week.  The average loss in help for private rents is between £40 and £50 a week.

Due to the large amount of council housing in Camden, many low income families will not be impacted - it's a different story for those in the private rented sector.

It is these changes, coupled with Universal Credit, which we feel will drive families from the borough or increase child poverty rates.

The LHA loss from ward to ward is set out below.  The higher occupancy of LHA private rented accommodation in the North West of the borough will mean the impacts on households (and schools) there will be highest.  

Numbers of children from households impacted by LHA changes by ward (Source: LB Camden)
Further work will have to be done with Camden's schools to help with welfare advice, and some school governors asked for support - if needed - for breakfast clubs.  The available evidence on child poverty suggests that parents will try and make ends meet, rather than move - but household incomes then become very squeezed for even the most basic things.

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