People on Benefits in York Aren't Getting Enough Help With Rent.
8:16am 24th January 2013
Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, has called for the Department for Work and Pensions, to carry out an annual review of local housing allowance and market rents. Mr Bayley says he has previously raised concern over the large gap between private sector rents in York and the level of housing benefits which residents receive. He says this is because the broad rental market area for York, the figure used to calculate housing benefits, includes other parts of the region which have much lower rents than York.
Mr Bayley says that in October, 2011 a report by Shelter showed that York is the most unaffordable city in the Yorkshire and Humber region for private rents and rents are on a par with those in the South East and East of England and not other cities in the north.
Mr Bayley says he wants York rents to be based on rents in the York Unitary Authority area and not on other parts of the region such as Tadcaster, Selby and Malton which have much cheaper rents.
The MP met Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, in March last year, he says, to discuss the problem and he also handed in a petition with over 500 signatures on it which was organised by York welfare campaigners in response to the Government’s changes to the housing benefit system.
Hugh Bayley says: “When I met Lord Freud, the Housing Benefit Minister, last year he acknowledged that four cities, Oxford, Cambridge, York and Edinburgh all have difficulties because they are high rent cities surrounded by cheaper areas which are used for the calculation of housing benefits. My amendment would have forced the government to carry out an annual review of these areas and check whether the housing benefits that people get is enough to cover their rents.
“York needs to be treated as a special case for housing benefits and if any of my York constituents are facing homelessness because of the gap between their rent and the amount they are receiving in housing benefits they should contact my office, so I can raise their cases with the Minister."
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