Council aims to send poorest to Coventry

By Matthew Bates Wednesday 21 November 2012 Updated: 22/11 11:52

A LONDON council could send its poorest residents to Coventry in a bid to solve rent issues in the area.

Brent Council is understood to have examined the possibility in response to benefits changes by the Government set to be introduced in April.

Around 30,000 families in the North London borough would not be able to afford rents under the plans.

Coventry City Council bosses said they had not been contacted and would never agree to a deal.

However, a deal could be struck with private landlords in the city, with Birmingham and Swindon other areas mooted for the scheme.

A report to the council's executive said: "The Department for Work and Pensions states that approximately 30,001 families will be affected in Brent and for these, rents will no longer be affordable.

"For example, a couple with three children, under Universal Credit, will have a personal allowance of £332.10.

"With benefits capped at £500, their maximum rent allowance will be £167.90. The local housing allowance rent for a three bed property in South of the Borough is £340.00 per week, leaving a weekly shortfall of £172.10.

"In this example the household will lose nearly £9,000 per year. The largest households could lose substantially more."

Coventry City Council's cabinet member for Housing, Ed Ruane, said: "Coventry City Council has not been contacted by Brent City Council about housing their residents in Coventry.

"I'm fully aware of the housing pressures in Coventry and I would never agree to housing residents from other local authorities knowing the enormous burden we are already under here in Coventry."

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