Local housing allowance changes will discriminate

The government has decided to push ahead with its housing benefit reforms despite advisers fearing they will discriminate against thousands of families and black and minority ethnic households. The changes will cap from next month the amount of local housing allowance payable for homes of six or more bedrooms, at the five-bedroom rate. A Work and Pensions advisory committee had strongly urged the government not to proceed with the change, saying up to 5,000 families could lose out as a result – of which 3,000 have children and live below the poverty line, and at least 40 per cent were from non-white communities.