National Housing Federation says the government should free up housing associations to build more affordable homes
Private landlords pocketed £9.3 billion in Housing Benefit payments last year, more than double that for nine years earlier, research from the National Housing Federation (NHF) reveals.
New analysis into the UK’s “ballooning” Housing Benefit bill shows private landlords received £9.3 billion in Housing Benefit during 2015, up from £4.6 billion in 2006.
NHF says there are two main reasons for the substantial growth in the amount of Housing Benefit paid to private landlords. The first is a 42% surge in the number of private renters in receipt of Housing Benefit. Secondly, the value of Housing Benefit claims for private sector renters is far greater than for those in social homes.
According to NHF research, it costs £21 a week extra to house a family in the private rented sector than in a social home. Over a year, this amounts to an additional £1,067 per family – £5,705 compared to £4,638 for families in the social rented sector.
The difference is in greater in London, where Housing Benefit is £64 per week more than for those in social homes, or an extra £3,300 each year.
NHF says a lack in affordable housing has resulted in a growing number of private tenants in need of Housing Benefit to help keep a roof over their heads.