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Newcastle is 'worrying hotspot' says Shelter

Cuts to housing support will put people in Newcastle at risk of losing their homes if they lose their jobs. A charity has identified Newcastle as a "worrying hotspot". Shelter analysed the impact of the Government's controversial Universal Credit reforms.

Under the current system, renters who have not claimed housing benefit in the previous year get the full cost of their rent covered for up to 13 weeks if unemployed.

Shelter warned that under Universal Credit a renter will only receive a standard amount towards their housing costs.

This research highlights the frightening reality that as support continues to be cut, losing your job is increasingly likely to mean losing your home.

"The high cost of housing, rising living costs, and job insecurity are already making it incredibly tough for families to survive. Just one thing, like an illness or redundancy, can be all it takes to tip a family on a downward spiral."

– Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter

The Government said that only a "tiny percentage" of housing benefit claimants receive help from the 13-week rule, which was designed 27 years ago.

It argues that the package of Universal Credit reforms will also give people a much clearer route back into work.

"This is an outdated and poorly targeted use of public funds that helps only a tiny percentage of housing benefit claimants for a short period of time and fails to support low income workers.

"In fact, three million households will be better off under Universal Credit, with people getting their housing support paid at the rate that reflects their personal circumstances, while also benefiting from better work incentives."

– Department for Work and Pensions

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