Laura Sharman 09 April 2020

Think tank calls for benefit cap to be suspended to protect renters

Social housing tenants are the most likely to be affected by the current economic crisis, a new report has found today.

The latest Housing Outlook, published by the Resolution Foundation, examines the impact of the crisis on families across different housing tenures.

It found four in five social housing tenants either work in sectors directly affected by the lockdown, are unable to work from home, or have caring responsibilities for school-age children.

The Housing Outlook found only half of homeowners face any of these situations, and are relatively well protected against big income shocks compared to previous recessions.

The think tank is calling on the Government to suspend the benefit cap, which it says isn’t practical in a period of rapidly rising unemployment.

Lindsay Judge, principal research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: 'While many homeowners are relatively well-protected in the current crisis via low interest rates and mortgage holiday options, private renters are exposed to rent arrears and even evictions should they lose their jobs.

'The Government has announced welcome support to renters with a £1bn boost to Housing Benefit. But this help risks being undermined by the benefit cap, which will leave many families with a shortfall in support.’

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