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Welfare reform set to increase homelessness - report

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Welfare reform set to increase homelessness - report

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities

homelessness homelessness

Image: Homelessness via Shutterstock

The government's welfare reforms are likely to increase homelessness, a new report has revealed.

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) suggests that the cumulative impact of the bedroom tax, benefit sanctions and problems accessing financial assistance at times of crisis is likely to result in more people losing their homes in Scotland.

The federation said that the research showed a number of "concerning trends emerging in the wake of welfare reform".

The report shows that despite social landlords' best efforts, tenancy sustainment is becoming increasingly difficult because welfare reform is undermining housing associations’ ability to help both existing and new/prospective tenants to sustain tenancies.

SFHA policy manager David Ogilvie said: “We are seriously concerned about how welfare reforms are impacting upon homeless households taking up new tenancies. It’s abundantly clear that the odds of these households being able to secure and sustain a suitable tenancy are being increasingly stacked against them.

“Despite social landlords' best efforts to provide as much help as they can to new tenants - be that in terms of making sure tenants have the basic essentials or the right advice and support - our research shows that the cumulative impact of the ‘bedroom tax’, benefit sanctions and problems accessing financial assistance at times of crisis may drive up homelessness in Scotland.

“We would echo the words of the Welfare Reform Committee in its recently published report – we need a welfare system that is supportive, not punitive.”

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