Lack of affordable housing leaves people stuck in supported accommodation
- 09 Mar
The YMCA has claimed that people who have come out of homelessness are finding it difficult to move on from supported housing to living independently.
Residents at the charity's Surbiton branch have said that even after finding work they weren't able to save money as they found their housing benefit was reduced meaning money then had to go towards rent. They said that if it wasn't for the YMCA they would be back on the street, reports the Surrey Comet.
The Government pays YMCA residents housing benefit towards their hostel rent.
Receptionist Rhoda Kizito, 29, suffered a bout of depression and then substance abuse that led her to the YMCA.
She said: "Everybody wants to change, everyone wants to get out there and live, but it's really hard to afford to move out. The YMCA can help, but only so much. If you find work you can't earn enough to move out without incurring debt."
Councillor Ian George, lead member for housing, said: "Without a doubt, people are getting forced out of the borough. It is a major problem. A lot of it comes down to the number of homes being built. We are light-years behind. The council can loan discretionary amounts to help out in some instances. Often, people moving on from the YMCA will be looking for a shared house situation that - although it is not cheap - is a halfway house to people being able to get their own place."
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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I found the event informative and timely it helped me to complete our response to DWP without which I would have struggled." S.S. - Safe House