Housing and Homelessness

Movements of housing benefit claimants in London

Commissioned by: Trust for London

  • Published 13th May 2016
  • Authors: Hannah Aldridge, , Tom MacInnes,
  • Category: Housing and Homelessness

There is widespread concern that poor families are being displaced from London. Recent welfare reforms were predicted to make parts of the capital unaffordable to people on low incomes. In addition, there are anecdotal examples of low income families being housed outside of London by their local boroughs.

What is not clear is the extent to which this is happening. Are tens of thousands of poor families being displaced from the capital each year?

This report explores what housing benefit data can tell us about the mobility of low-income households. It shows the extent to which housing benefit claimants are moving, and how this differs between areas and over time. The data in the report looks at claimants who have moved address in between 2010 and 2014 and maintained their claim or claimed again within 3 months of moving.

The analysis offers insight into the movements of low-income households, though it cannot unpick the motives behind the moves. Families move for a wide range of reasons. Some moves might be seen as advantageous; people moving to housing that better suits their needs. In other instances, people may be moving reluctantly, for example, because they can no longer afford to pay the rent.