Shelter worried by new benefit reform

A shake-up of the housing benefit system could lead to an increase
in homelessness, the charity Shelter has warned.

Nine local authorities will pilot the new local housing allowance,
due to be introduced in England, Scotland and Wales. Under the new
system, private tenants would receive a flat rate of housing
benefit, set locally, taking account of income and family size.
Tenants, instead of landlords, would receive the money

According to Shelter, 60 per cent or private tenants had their
housing benefit paid directly to their landlord to ensure that
their housing costs were covered. But one in six of the poorest
households do not have a bank account, so many people will now have
to pay their rent in cash.

“There is a real danger that, without the option of direct payments
to landlords, tenants may get into arrears and even lose their
homes,” said director Adam Sampson.

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