East End landlords reject anyone on housing benefit, claims Toynbee Hall

Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel

Toynbee Hall in Whitechapel - Credit: Archant

Private landlords in London’s deprived East End are turning away anyone on housing benefit, a report claims.

A study into allegations of discrimination has found eight-out-of-10 landlords and letting agents won’t take on tenants who are receiving the allowance.

The report by Toynbee Hall also discovered that 60 per cent only accept professionals or workers in the private sector.

The shortage of council house-building programmes and last year’s government welfare cuts are blamed for a growing crisis in the East End’s rental market.

Private tenants on benefit will soon be unable to live in the area without more supply of social housing or measures to absorb “the disproportionate impact of welfare reform,” the Whitechapel centre’s welfare reform taskforce report predicts.


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“We are concerned for families who are unable to get affordable housing,” said Toynbee Hall’s chief executive Graham Fisher. “The findings confirm our thoughts on tenants on benefits being increasingly marginalised.”

The report was “a clear insight” into how depleted council housing, welfare changes and rapidly-rising rents are squeezing tenants on benefits out of the East End.

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Families are being forced to move away, leaving behind their social support and having to change jobs and schools, researchers fear.

Information and advice specifically for private renters hit by welfare cuts is now available from Toynbee Hall online.

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