Figures show housing benefit payments cost to Eastbourne council

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Eastbourne is in the south east top 10 when it comes to people renting in the private sector and claiming housing benefit.

The town has 3,208 people claiming housing benefits to help pay their rent to private landlords and figures show the estimated annual housing benefits paid to claimants is £6,528.60 a year – costing Eastbourne council £20million a year.

The data has been released by GMB Southern, the trade union, which argues a change of policy to shift away from housing benefits to direct provision of council housing is long overdue. The union also says it will save money in the long run too.

A spokesperson said, “In February 2019 there were 122,856 recipients of housing benefits in the south east.

“This is 21.23 per cent of all private rented households in the south east.

“With the average recipient receiving around £140 per week, this means housing benefits in the south east are costing the government £891.3 million every year.”

Eastbourne is ninth in the table with 10,494 privately rented households, 30.5 per cent of housing benefit recipients in the private rented sector and claimants receiving an average of £125.55 towards their rent.