"It's hard to think of a worse time in the last 50 years to be on benefits and living in London. Soaring rents, a massive shortage of social housing and the effects of the benefit cap have left thousands of people struggling to find a place to live. Add to that the stigma which is now attached to claiming welfare and you have a situation which makes it almost impossible for the capital's poorest residents to find a home.
"These difficulties were highlighted by a recently leaked email from the estate agents Foxtons. It showed one of the company's employees trying to discourage a landlord from renting to people on housing benefit. Foxtons were quick to confirm that this isn't company policy and said they were disappointed to learn about the incident. But the attitude of the employee who sent the email will come as no surprise to anyone who receives benefits and has tried to rent a property in recent years."