Friday, 06 May 2016

Calls to social landlord surge 35% since welfare reform

A housing association has recorded an upsurge in the number of calls to its customer call centre since welfare changes came into effect this year.

Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association, which manages more than 16,000-homes, said it received 57,000 calls from 1 April to 31 October this year, up 15,000 on the same period last year – a 35 per cent increase.

The bedroom tax, under which tenants of working age deemed to have spare rooms have their benefit cut and the scrapping of council tax benefit both came into effect on 1 April. Council tax benefit has been replaced by locally administered schemes with an average 10 per cent cut. In addition, there has also been a £26,000-a-year benefit cap rolled out across the country in recent weeks.

Adam Gould, head of customer contact at BPHA, said: ‘We know that families are struggling but our team is here to help those most in need, especially those impacted by changes to benefits.’

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