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Housing company prepares tenants for welfare changes

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Published by Melanie Armstrong for Homes For Northumberland in Housing

Homes for Northumberland has launched a new Welfare Reform campaign called Be Moneywise to inform Council tenants about the proposed Government changes to their benefits.

As part of the campaign, the housing company has sent a leaflet called Your Benefits May Be Changing to all of its tenants to outline key Government proposals and their potential impact on benefits, including Universal Credit, the Benefit Cap and Non Dependant Deductions. 

One of the first changes to come into force is under occupation, which is sometimes referred to as bedroom tax. From April 2013, the Government will reduce the amount of housing benefit paid to people who are of working age and have more bedrooms than the Government says they need in their home. 

Homes for Northumberland has identified over one thousand tenants who will be affected by the new under occupation regulations. To help prepare these residents for this change, officers will be visiting those who will be affected over the coming weeks to help raise their awareness and offer an opportunity to seek advice.

Tim Harris, director of neighbourhood services at Homes for Northumberland, said: “The new under occupation rules are set to affect a high number of our tenants and it is important that we prepare people for these changes.

“The new regulations will affect a range of different people – for example if you are a couple living in a two bedroom property or a couple with one child living in a three bedroom home – so it is essential that they are prepared.

“We are committed to supporting tenants during this period of change and it is important that any tenants who are in financial difficulty tell us as soon as possible so we can offer them advice and support on how to pay their rent.”

You can visit the Homes for Northumberland website at www.hfn.uk.com for a copy of the Your Benefits May Be Changing leaflet.

If you are a Council tenant who would like more information on how Welfare Reform could affect your housing benefit or require advice on paying your rent, please contact Homes for Northumberland on 01670 542424.

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