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Welfare reform sparks homeless fears
10:15am Thursday 27th September 2012 in News
A YORK MP has voiced fears about the impact of planned Government welfare reforms on poorer families during a visit to a homeless hostel in the city.
Hugh Bayley , who represents York Central, toured the Howe Hill Resettlement Centre with Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing , City of York Council ’s cabinet member for housing, to be shown the work being done there to provide accommodation for young people in difficulties.
The Acomb Road centre provides round-the-clock help and support agencies to find those in need somewhere to live, and council staff prevented about 1,000 people being left without a roof over their heads last year.
But Mr Bayley said he was concerned the cost of housing in York meant more people were being “driven out” of their home city or falling into a homelessness trap.
He said: “The Government’s Welfare Reform Bill will result in vulnerable people having their benefits cut, impacting on the number of people seeking help with housing.
“York already has a shortage of affordable housing and renting a flat can cost upwards of £600 – this is causing real hardship for York families, and if the Government does not rethink its policies, we could see more people living on the streets.”