MP: Housing shake-up 'could lead to more evictions'
MINISTERS have been tackled by Torbay MP Adrian Sanders over changes to the housing benefit rules.
He pressed his Lib-Dem colleague and Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb over the move to extend the shared accommodation housing benefit rate to single people aged under 35.
Mr Sanders has warned it could lead to evictions and so place a further burden on already over-stretched housing departments.
It has been estimated increasing the age threshold for shared accommodation from 25 to 35 will mean 260,330 people on housing benefit will no longer qualify for their own home.
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It forms part of a far-reaching shake-up to cap housing benefit.
Mr Sanders said: "One of the big problems across the board for people aged under 35 is that, because of where they live geographically, or because of medical reasons or their lifestyle, they might simply be unable to reduce their housing costs and share, and therefore could face eviction.
"That would put more pressure on local authority housing departments, which are already under pressure because of the lack of affordable housing."
Responding, Mr Webb said: "Over the next four years we will add a total of £190million to the money going to local authorities.
"Around two thirds of this will be discretionary payments to help just the sort of difficult cases that he mentions, plus other funding for local government to assist them."