Families face losing hundreds of pounds each month from their housing benefits, the YEP can reveal.
Over 300 families in Leeds have lost some or all of their housing benefit under the latest round of Government welfare reforms.
Around 340 non-working families in the city have seen their benefits capped at £500-a-week and some of the toughest hit areas include Gipton, Harehills, Middleton and Hunslet.
New figures reveal that affected families face losing, on average, around £64 a week from their housing benefits under the changes.
The news comes after the YEP revealed thousands of families across Leeds are struggling to make ends meet after falling into a cycle of debt at the hands of short-term money lenders.
West Leeds Debt Forum is so worried about parents who are struggling to make ends meet that they have approached the city’s headteachers.
They are in talks with schools to find out how parents can be signposted for advice.
Figures show up to 60,000 people in Leeds could be forced to use high-interest lenders.
Around 22,500 people are believed to have taken out payday loans to pay bills.
The legal high-cost lending market in Leeds is believed to be worth in the region of £90m per year.
A report to the council’s Outer West Area Committee said: “The West Leeds Debt Forum feel that the challenge for West Leeds residents is ‘instant’ high interest loans and that families in crisis need an alternative.
“Families on low incomes generally manage what money they have well, but when a crisis strikes, the survival strategy is a high interest legal money lender or a loan shark.
“West Leeds Debt Forum feel that money sense has to be instilled at an early age and the Forum has involved local primary schools in campaigns and is in discussion with school heads on how to engage with parents and primary school students in a lively, productive way, building on the initiatives of Leeds City Credit Union.”
A Leeds City Council spokesman said that families who are affected by the benefit cap have been approached by officials to discuss their financial situation.
He said that in the most extreme cases Discretionary Housing Payments will be available.