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Depaul UK backs NAO report
September 13th, 2017
Depaul UK today (Wednesday, 13 September) backed a National Audit Office (NAO) report that found welfare reforms are hindering other governmental work to cut homelessness.
The NAO report – published today and entitled Homelessness – examines the Government’s homelessness policy, finding that changes to housing benefit have contributed to the increase in homelessness.
Depaul UK Chief Executive Martin Houghton-Brown said: “While the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 should help, there is a real risk it will be undermined by welfare reforms – particularly the roll-out of Universal Credit and proposed changes to supported accommodation funding.
“The report points out that the Government has not evaluated the impact of its welfare reforms on homelessness.”
He added: “It is important that ministers look again at the amount of time people have to wait to receive their first Universal Credit payment. Many of the young people we work with are having to wait at least six weeks, during which time they struggle to pay their rent and in some cases have to rely on foodbanks.
“Depaul’s preventative services like Nightstop and our family mediation teams can help reverse the rise in homelessness. We are working with national and local government, as well as charitable funders and volunteers, to make sure that these services are available to more people who need them.”
The report and press release about it are available on the NAO website: www.nao.org.uk