I have written regularly (most recently on Friday) about George Osborne’s announcement in the Autum Statement that all rents in social housing were to be capped at Local Housing Allowance levels. Many of us warned about the dire consequences, particularly in specialist supported housing projects including women’s refuges. This prompted a DWP spokesman to say: “This is unnecessary scaremongering, which does nothing to help those it purports to represent. The truth is that nothing will change until 2018.”
On Wednesday Theresa May responded to a question from Jeremy Corbyn about the threat these measures would have on women’s refuges, the Prime Minister replied: “The right honourable gentleman raises a very important issue on the issue of domestic violence. We are doing all we can to stop these terrible crimes taking place and to provide support to the victims and survivors of these crimes. That’s why we are working on exempting refuges from the cap.”
It is clear that Mrs May has accepted the evidence that, in the case of women’s refuges, two out of three would close if the LHA cap is implemented. The same warning must apply also to the rest of specialist supported housing services.
Was the DWP spokesman correct and will he denounce Mrs May for her unnecessary scaremongering …?