Cost of living support for residents to meet rising costs
London and the North East have the highest rates of poverty in England, with just over half of all those living in social housing in the capital living in poverty. The cost of living crisis affects those on the lowest incomes more sharply than others, with high inflation hitting key items, such as food, more severely, and which the least well off spend a greater proportion of their income on.
We welcome the government’s decision to increase social security in line with inflation, as announced in the Autumn Statement, which we called for. The support provided to households with energy bills and through other cost of living payments are also welcome. However, with almost a quarter of all social housing residents already living in fuel poverty before the higher costs for heating homes really took hold in 2022, the stubbornly high cost of energy remains a real challenge for many of G15 members’ residents.
G15 members have increased support for residents, including providing £5.8m for vital crisis support this year and helping residents to secure £44m of financial gains last year. Members have also committed not to evict anyone who is engaging with us and in arrears due to cost of living pressures, and are working closely with key partners in local government and the third sector to provide more support for people.
The government should continue to recognise the extreme challenges many people are facing, especially the least well off.
The government can:
- Remove the two-child limit in income-related benefits.
- Scrap the five-week wait for the first Universal Credit payment.
- Bring Local Housing Allowance rates back into line with the cost of homes.