Gordon MacRae, Head of Communications and Policy at Shelter Scotland, says:
“The housing proposals outlined in this Bill will do little to support the government’s aim to get people back into work. Plans to remove the link between housing benefit and the housing costs people pay* will push those seeking work out of their homes and into areas with fewer job opportunities.
“In the current economic climate when further job losses are predicted over the coming months, now is the very worst time to make it more difficult for people to find and keep employment and to take away the housing safety net that helps those who do lose their jobs to stay in their homes.
“While we are pleased that the government has listened to organisations like Shelter Scotland and reconsidered measures to cut housing benefit after 12 months for those unable to find jobs, we remain extremely concerned about the impact of other cuts to housing benefit on people who are out of work.
“While Shelter Scotland supports the aim to simplify the benefits system and make work pay, there is a real concern that we will see a further rise in homelessness if these changes go ahead.”
Notes to editors
*The Welfare Reform Bill proposes to update Local Housing Allowance by the Consumer Price Index
1. Shelter Scotland, the housing and homelessness charity. Shelter Scotland believes that everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.
2. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.
3. For more information about Shelter Scotland visit www.shelter.org.uk
4. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/shelterinscotland
Twitter – http://twitter.com/shelterscotland
Contact: Neil Baldwin
Phone: 0844 515 2442