Council to export poor families to North
Camden Council plans to uproot more than 750 poor families from London to cheaper locations such as Bradford and Leicester. The move will likely affect around 2,800 adults and children.
Camden says the Coalition's £500 welfare benefit cap means accomodation in the borough is unaffordable. Other councils are also looking at the move.
Camden currently has some of the highest rents in the country, not to mention surging childcare costs, plus a long waiting list for council housing. But Labour leader at Camden Council Sarah Hayward abhors the move.
She told Nick Ferrari at LBC Radio that scooping people out of the Capital from friends, families and schools is "absolutely a form of cleansing. We need people in London from a variety of different backgrounds and this will have a cleansing effect on many of those people in low-paid work."
She added: "People in low-paid work will not be able to afford to live in Central London any more. That is economically illiterate. We need people in London from a variety of different backgrounds and this will have a cleansing effect on many of those people in low-paid work."
Extra £90 a weekThe Guardian reports that the Labour-controlled council has warned that once the cap is imposed from the summer, many families will need an extra £90 a week on average to stump up for their rent.
"Not being given that option to choose where you want to live," one woman told the paper, "and where your children go to school isn't fair. The government is taking away people's homes and the places where they've made friends. To think that someone has the power to do that over you."
Even rents in traditional "grittier" London locations like Hackney and Tower Hamlets have risen sharply in recent years. And with the absence of any meaningful rent controls in the Capital (not to mention in other UK cities), particularly for poorer families, the situation will likely worsen.