2 Apr 2014

Response to the Work and Pensions Committee report on housing support in the reformed welfare system

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said:

'This report shines a spotlight on the damage that some of the government’s changes to housing support are causing many of the UK’s poorest children and families. 

'Cuts to support for families renting their home and changes to the way rents are paid, threaten to put families – many that are already struggling to provide their children with the basics – into debt and, in some cases, risk homelessness.  
 
'The government must act on the committee’s recommendations, including by monitoring whether these changes cause families to lose their homes, and by giving families the option of having their rent paid direct to their landlord.

'A decent, affordable home is not a luxury, it is a necessity. The government must make sure that none of its policies denies any child this basic right.'

Ends

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For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society submitted written and oral evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee for this report.
  • 3.5 million children in the UK are living in poverty today.
  • Six in 10 children living in poverty are in low-income working families. 
  • By 2020, an estimated three quarters of a million more children will be living in poverty than today according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • The Children’s Society is supporting the first-ever Children’s Commission on Poverty. The commissioners want the government to draw on children’s actual experience – and not just the statistics -- when developing measures to tackle child poverty. The Children’s Commission on Poverty is being supported by The Children’s Society and led by a panel of 16 children and teenagers from across England, ranging in age from 12 to 19. They are leading an 18-month investigation into child poverty in the UK. It provides a crucial platform for children to speak out about what poverty is really like and reveal, through their own eyes, the day-to-day challenges they face and what needs to be done.  
  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life. Someone who acts on their behalf and can help guide them through the extremely complex system. These children deserve to be kept safe so they can recover from the trauma they have suffered and rebuild their lives.