Benefit cut ‘risk to thousands’ of Leeds residents

Fabian Hamilton

Fabian Hamilton

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CUTS TO housing benefit will put almost 5,000 elderly and vulnerable people in Leeds at risk of losing their homes, Labour has claimed.

Labour argued a new cap on housing benefit for social tenants did not reflect the higher costs of providing specialised supported housing for vulnerable groups.

Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton said: “The Tories’ extreme cuts to housing benefit could bankrupt vital housing for some of the most vulnerable people in Leeds.

“It is shameful that the Government attempted to hide this away in the small-print of the Autumn Statement – it could mean people with disabilities and learning difficulties, the elderly, veterans and women fleeing domestic violence could see the places they call home having to close.

“There is no way they, or the organisations who support them, can making up the huge shortfall these cuts are set to open up.

In a Commons debate on the issue, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis accused Labour of “scaremongering” and said money had been set aside to combat homelessness, help the victims of domestic abuse and provide specialist housing for vulnerable people.

He said: ““This Government has always been clear that the most vulnerable will be supported through our welfare reforms.

“We know that the welfare suystem is vital for supporting vulnerable people and it is essential that all vulerable people have a roof over their heads which is why we’ve been determined to support their housing needs.”