Angela Crawley MP for Lanark and Hamilton East has welcomed the U-turn on the local housing allowance (LHA) cap announced by the Government last week.
Following months of pressure from the opposition politicians and the charity sector, Work and Pensions Secretary Damien Green released a statement announcing the cap on Housing Benefit would not apply to homeless shelters, supported housing or refuges.
The announcement of the LHA cap last year by then-Chancellor George Osborne led to charity groups claiming the policy would mean shelters and supported accommodation would be forced to close.
In the statement released on Thursday, Mr Green said that after “extensive input” the government was deferring the imposition of the LHA cap until 2019-20, after which a new system would keep funding at current levels.
Commenting, Angela said:
“The loss of losing local housing allowance would have been devastating for vulnerable people across the country.
“Refuges and Shelters rely on the current level of house benefit, and without it would not be able provide essential support to those that need it most, including women and children fleeing domestic abuse and those suffering mental illnesses.
“Local housing allowance pays for a safe place for these people to live temporarily, often with support workers and security.
“It is a relief that the Government have listened to the calls of the charity sector and will not force these vital services to close.
“However, the same problems will be revisited unless the Government sticks to the promise of funding being frozen at the current level in 2019-20.”