This month Nikola Gardner, 41, will be getting ready for another move with her children – her fifth in four years – as changes to her benefit allowances edge her further from the patch of central London where she was born.

She is living now on a quiet street in the outer London borough of Enfield, but she knows that soon there will be no place left for her in the capital. She fears the next move, as a result of the new benefit cap, could see her dispatched as far as Grimsby.

They have already been moved from Islington to Enfield due to housing benefit cuts. But the new cap has made these homes unaffordable.{jcomments on}

As concern rises about soaring property prices in the capital, and the increasing unaffordability of housing for those hoping to buy, there also are severe consequences for those at the bottom end of the London property chain, far removed from even contemplating buying somewhere to live.

Rising house prices have led to soaring rents, pushing up the government's housing benefit bill, and triggering in turn radical cuts to the amount of support available for those who need it.

Nikola Gardner moved in February 2013 from Islington to Enfield, 12 miles from her family, after being evicted from her home when a cut to the amount she was entitled to made the flat she was renting unaffordable.

But the newly introduced overall benefit cap of £500 a week, now means the home she settled in with her two sons (aged four and eight) has now in turn become unaffordable, so she is set to be evicted for a second time.

Read the full story in the Guardian

This article was published the day before the DWP produced its own report on the numbers of claimants affected by the Benefit Cap.

To read the DWP report click here.


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