Research finds a third of all Newcastle homes have been hit by welfare reforms
Research by ALMO’s has revealed that at least one third of all Newcastle homes have been hit by the welfare reforms that came into place last April.
The research highlights that the controversial bedroom tax has had the most significant impact on social housing tenants in the city.
On average the weekly loss in benefits for a council tenant seen to be under-occupying their home is £13.51 per household. The annual loss in housing benefit amongst all council tenants is around £3.2m, reports 24dash.
ALMO Your Homes Newcastle, who run Newcastle City Council’s housing stock, have said that 4,703 tenants have been affected by the bedroom tax.
Figures now reveal that 60% of those affected by the bedroom tax in the city are now in arrears, and the number of people searching for one-bedroom homes through Tyne and Wear Homes has increased dramatically. At the end of February 3,558 people were looking for one-bed homes compared to 576 searching for a three bedroom house.
Neil Scott, YHN’s director of tenancy services, said: “The government’s welfare reform act has many different strands that affect tenants in many different ways, so it has been a challenging year for both us and tenants. We have maintained a balanced approach that recognises the complex nature of the changes and their impact on tenants. In the lead up to the introduction of the bedroom tax, we carried out more than 9,000 visits to properties and engaged face to face with over 4,700 households potentially affected by the under occupation charge. We have put a lot of resource into training, coaching and one to one development to enable staff to deliver advice accurately and effectively given the unprecedented speed and amount of change. We are also committed to assisting tenants in finding employment opportunities where possible and we have been working with Newcastle City Council in providing bespoke support to the 700 tenants affected by under occupation in Walker.”
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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing
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