I believe the government are trying to rush through proposed housing and housing benefit reform as a short-term cost-cutting measure without counting the human cost that such changes will bring.
Please will you consider writing to your MP today, urging him or her to press for a review of the planned changes. Otherwise it is likely that many families will face eviction and could be forced onto the streets this winter.
This is an issue that obviously affects many of our volunteers and clients.
Campaigning group 38 Degrees have made it very easy to identify your MP, write them an email and send it, all within a couple of minutes. I have also drafted a letter (below) that outlines some of my own concerns regarding the plans.
I am writing to you regarding today’s vote in Parliament on the government’s plans for housing and housing benefit.
I work for the Mustard Tree, a Manchester-based charity that serves the homeless and marginalised population of the city. My role involves supporting men and women with issues around homelessness, addiction, a history of offending or mental health problems, training them as they volunteer here and helping them get ready for paid work. All of them are dependent on various forms of benefit, and for most of them this includes housing benefit.
I believe that the proposed changes are being rushed through without being properly thought out, and I am very concerned that they could increase levels of homelessness here in Manchester across the nation.
Many of our volunteers and clients are dependent on particularly high rates of housing benefit, to pay for places in supported accommodation and hostels. We have enjoyed seeing a number of our volunteers progress from such accommodation into their own homes. For them to lose those homes and then end up in hostels with far higher rents (some several times more expensive than for a council flat) seems ludicrous. Has this issue been addressed as part of the planned changes?
What is your position on the proposed changes to housing and housing benefit and how are you planning to vote today? Please will you support a review of the changes?
The Mustard Tree,
110 Oldham Road,