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Local authorities unprepared for welfare reform, claims homeless charity

RLA
Written by RLA

Almost everyone experiencing homelessness in England will be affected by the current raft of changes to the welfare system – but are local authorities prepared to support them through it?…

Almost everyone experiencing homelessness in England will be affected by the current raft of changes to the welfare system – but are local authorities prepared to support them through it? 

That is the question the charity Homeless Link, is still asking, following the publication of its latest research, ‘How prepared are local authorities for Welfare Reform?

Homeless Link interviewed 42 local authorities to find out what their priorities were for single, homeless people. However, the charity claims the responses they received were “troubling, if not necessarily surprising”.

The charity claims all the local authorities were aware of the proposed welfare reform, but the level of engagement differed between authorities. Many described a lack of accurate information about welfare changes. Most local authorities claimed they were unaware what other local authorities were doing, and felt worried that they were unprepared.

Alice Evans, Homeless Link’s head of policy analysis said, “What the report highlights is that many local authorities are really struggling with the additional burdens placed on them by administering the majority of these changes, at a time when they are experiencing unprecedented levels of cuts to their budgets.

“They are faced with tough decisions about which groups to prioritise for support versus broader support for the whole community.”

Alice concluded, “Unless these challenges are recognised and local authorities supported there’s a real risk that welfare reform changes will lead to increased homelessness, indebtedness and greater vulnerabilities. We are continuing to collect information and best practice from local authorities to share this with others. We will also be monitoring the impact of the welfare reform changes on homeless people.”

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RLA

RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.

1 Comment

  • I hav a few Housing Benefit tenants. Stockport MBC try2 work with private landlords but suffer from staff shortages/over demand on services. They can not give me an assurance that the L.H.A. will continue2 b paid direct to myself in the case of new clients. They just dont hav the info yet. They think the direct payment wil continue re existing tenants, – but Im not so sure–could alter at their yearly review?? Manchester City Council is impossible2 deal with. They r overwhelmed even now. Phone calls unanswered/ I give up after 30mins hanging on. Emails unanswered, even though u get an acknowledgement that a reply wil b given within so long. Fob off answer eventually provided. No chance of sorting out problems. Request2hav benefit paid2landlord ignored etc etc. Eventually demand wil increase so much that rents wil rise+landlords like myself wil ‘upgrade’ to ‘better quality’ tenants.

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