The extent to which the poor are going to not just be disadvantaged but screwed by the new housing benefits cap in London is becoming clear. This is all c/o the excellent Dave Hill on The Guardian website, btw. Today he's reported several findings:
First: The govt's own advisory panel report (pdf link) suggests almost unreadable numbers of people will be evicted from their London homes because of this measure. It's terrible to read. People who for whatever reason live in Westminster will on average have to find an extra £260 per week. Per week! or face eviction. Children uprooted from their schools and friends, desperate search for somewhere that will have them at a rate under the cap... a while back on here I was worried about poverty strapped private landlord ghetto housing. I'd say the likelihood of that is high.
Second: The Guardian comments on a survey of Westminster landlords, 60% of whom suggest that they will not take their rents down as a result. So that doesn't mean that those in say, Lambeth will but there is always, *always* pent up demand in London for housing. There is no need for London landlords to put agree reduced rent.
This measure upsets me so much. The pressure on London housing is immense, and there is no simple quick fix to solve it. this isn't even a band-aid, in fact, it's the polar opposite. It's a pick axe, telling those on benefits that you're not welcome in 'affluent' London. You must be banished to the suburbs, away from the place you grew up, away from the place you lived before you were made redundant in the downturn which you did not cause. you must hide in soul crushing shit housing which will destroy your self esteem and reduce the life chances of your children.
All of those things, instead of building houses. Instead of having incentive schemes to move out of London to other cities (such as they had in Ireland for a while). This is a Thatcherite way of dealing with a problem. A solution, with absolutely no empathy for those fucked up by it. Let's not forget, any one of us living in London could be stuck in this trap if we lost our jobs.
It's the most awful, awful thing. I hate them with all my heart.