Published: 4th Mar 2014

As government attempts to reduce the benefits bill through welfare reform, housing associations are left dealing with the fallout, as Alex Stevenson reports ‘It’s a cruel pill.’ That’s how one housing association chief sums up the coalition’s welfare reforms, which are already hitting tenants hard – and threatening to get much worse in the future. Policies like the unpopular ‘bedroom tax’, the benefit cap and the flagship universal credit are designed to drive down the overall welfare bill – and the early figures suggest they are making a difference. But speak to housing association bosses and it quickly becomes clear there’s a heavy human price to be paid. The ‘most severe’ impact on the households affected comes from the benefit cap, which prevents any family receiving more than £26,000 a year. Across the country 8,000 households have been hit, and it’s mostly housing associations in the south-east which are having to … (To read the full article, subscribe below)