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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

CIH Northern Ireland comments on new cap on benefits


Commenting on the CIH research into the new cap of benefits, released today, CIH Northern Ireland policy and public affairs manager Justin Cartwright said: "The Department for Communities estimates that 2,600 Northern Ireland families will be impacted by the new cap on benefits.

"The lower benefit cap will be introduced in Northern Ireland on 7 November and reduces the total amount of benefits a household can receive from £26,000 to £20,000.

"However, families with children impacted by the benefits cap in Northern Ireland will receive top-up payments from the department until 2020.

"These top-up payments will go a long way towards helping the families who would have faced immediate and substantial gaps between their rent and the help they receive to pay for it.

"By providing this financial support, local politicians recognise the hardship that the new cap would have placed on families and children, putting many households at risk of losing their homes.

"Welfare reform is supposed to incentivise people into work, but the department has used strict assessments and found many families impacted by this cap are unable to work.

"We suggest that the government now plan beyond 2020 to address the cap and the other aspects of welfare reform, such as the bedroom tax, that undermine the aim of welfare reform to make society fairer. We are convening a working group to look at this wider issue of welfare reform in housing."


For more information please contact Justin Cartwright, CIH Northern Ireland policy and public affairs manager on 028 9077 8222, 07824 304 351 or

1. CIH has published new research today which shows the cap will hit 116,000 families across the social rented and private rented sectors in Great Britain, the vast majority of which are two and three-children families, by up to £115 a week. More than 300,000 children live in these households.

2. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world.

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