Welfare reforms causing supported housing to be ‘clogged up'

  • Homelessness experts have warned that efforts to protect European Union migrants from benefit cuts are leading to supported housing and hostel accommodation becoming ‘clogged up.' /images/risinghouse.jpg

    If European people were to be moved from supported housing some will have their housing benefit cut due to welfare reforms that came into effect in April, reports Inside Housing.

    Migrants from the European Economic Area who are not in work are no longer eligible to claim any housing benefit. Migrants who were already claiming before 1 April were given ‘transitional protection' from the changes until there is a break in their claim, for example they move out of a local authority area or a sanction.

    Amanda Croome, director of the Booth Centre, a Manchester-based advice and support service for homeless people, said: "I'm aware of cases where people are not being moved on to avoid a break in claim. Supported housing and hostels are becoming silted up as a result."

    An officer for single homeless people at one London council, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "We can't move them on from supported housing because, if we move them on, they break their claim and lose their housing benefit."

    Helen Mathie, head of policy for Homeless Link, said: "It is alarming to see signs that this policy change may be creating an additional barrier for many people who are looking to move into work or a new tenancy."

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