London SE1 community website

Map: How Government’s welfare reform will affect SE1 households

London SE1 website team

Thousands of residents of Borough, Bankside, Bermondsey and Waterloo will be affected by changes to housing benefit and council tax benefit introduced this year.

Using information from Southwark Council and Lambeth Council we've created this map showing the impact of the changes on the six wards which most closely match the boundaries of SE1.

Click on your ward to find out how many households will be affected by the reforms in your area.

The change which will affect the largest number of households – nearly 6,500 across the six wards – is the localisation of council tax benefit. The Government has abolished the national council tax benefit scheme and instead required councils to come up with their own support schemes, but has cut the amount of money available for such benefits. In Southwark, the funding gap is 2.8 million.

Also introduced in April is the size criteria for social housing, also known as the 'bedroom tax'. In future, housing benefit will be linked to the number of bedrooms required by a household. Those with one spare bedroom will have their housing benefit cut by 14 per cent whilst those with two or more extra rooms will face a 25 per cent reduction.

This change will affect 899 council tenants across the six wards plotted on the map. This figure excludes tenants of the City of London Corporation and housing association tenants in SE1.

During the course of the year the Government will also introduce a cap on total benefits of 350 per week for single person and 500 per week for couples, lone parents and families. This measure is expected to affect just over 100 households across Borough, Bankside, Bermondsey and Waterloo.

Last week Lambeth Council announced that it was stepping up its controversial public information campaign about welfare reform.

The borough's advertising campaign was condemned in the House of Commons last week by Tory MP Brandon Lewis who said he was "appalled" by the "propaganda posters" produced by the authority.

Cllr Lib Peck, leader of Lambeth Council, said: "We are deeply concerned that thousands of residents are still unaware of the big changes to benefits which will result in a big cut in their household income from April 2013.

"Over 20,000 households in Lambeth face big reductions in financial support as a result of the government's reduce funding for council tax support.

"To raise awareness amongst our residents who are affected by the council tax benefit cuts we are writing to 30,000 households today to ensure they are aware of the changes and to offer them advice and support.

"We believe that a responsible local authority has a duty to provide information, support and advice to its residents about important matters which may affect their income and quality of life."

• Welfare reform is the theme of the next Borough, Bankside & Walworth Community Council meeting to be held on Tuesday 22 February at St Saviour's and St Olave's School.

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