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

New CIH research shows impact of benefit cap on children and families


A new cap on overall benefits will have a widespread and severe impact on almost 20,000 children living in around 6,700 families across Scotland, the Chartered Institute of Housing has warned.

The lower overall benefit cap comes into effect from 7th November. In Scotland and other parts of the UK outside London, it will limit the total amount of benefits a household can receive from £26,000 to £20,000.

CIH Scotland has conducted new research which shows the cap will hit 6,700 families across the social rented and private rented sectors in Scotland. The vast majority of families affected are two and three-child families. Almost 20,000 children live in these households in Scotland.

CIH Scotland Executive Director Annie Mauger said the new cap could put many families at serious risk of losing their homes and render housing in significant parts of the country unaffordable for those affected.

Annie Mauger said:

“The results of our research are extremely worrying. It shows that the reduction in total benefits is going to hit some of the most vulnerable families of all sizes across Scotland and the UK as a whole.

“These families will lose out when the cap comes into effect from 7 November. In many cases, they will immediately face a substantial gap between their rent and the help they receive to pay for their housing.

“Worryingly, our analysis shows many families could be one redundancy or a period of ill health away from being in this situation.

“We are seriously concerned that this could have a severe impact on these families, make housing in large sections of the country unaffordable and risk worsening what is already a growing homelessness problem.”

Annie Mauger concluded:

“This is a measure which seriously risks undermining the UK Government’s commitment to make society fairer for families and we suggest that they look at this urgently.”

Breakdown of families affected in Scotland and other parts of the UK:

1 child 2 children 3 children 4 children Total
Scotland 164 1,659 3,478 1,432 6,733
North East 39 450 3,470 1,334 5,293
North West 148 2,691 7,479 2,536 12,854
Yorkshire & Humberside 63 990 5,578 2,575 9,206
East Midlands 69 1,089 4,158 1,761 7,077
West Midlands 92 2,345 7,037 2,557 12,031
East of England 215 4,973 5,541 1,198 11,927
London 5,570 5,525 4,840 1,944 18,059
South East 581 8,846 7,100 1,148 17,676
South West 89 3,882 4,284 1,017 9,272
Wales 60 1,113 3,287 1,384 5,844
Total 7,270 33,563 56,252 18,887 115,972

Scottish Case Studies:

The financial impact of the benefit cap on individual families will vary depending on their circumstances, where they live and how much their housing costs. The following examples demonstrate what the impact could be for different families living in different parts of Scotland.







South Lanarkshire

South Lanarkshire




For further information, please contact Orbit Communications on 0131 603 8996 or

Lower Benefit Cap CIH Research Report FINAL

Notes to Editors

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. Further information is available at:

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