SCARBOROUGH’S MP has promised to put concerns of Yorkshire Coast Homes tenants over the forthcoming overhaul of the welfare system direct to the Government’s housing minister.
He was speaking at a meeting yesterday with tenants and officers from the housing association at the Crescent Hotel.
Their concerns included the fact that housing benefit will be paid direct to claimants, in one monthly payment, leading to a danger of rent arrears and increased debt and homelessness.
Mr Goodwill said: “I agree with you 100 per cent. It seems a little bit barmy and I shall write to the housing minister. I can see why they want one payment but we need to make sure that people can pay their rents otherwise they are going to get evicted.”
But he added that tax payers should not subsidise claimants living in houses that are too large for their needs. He said: “Why should tax payers pay for these empty rooms.”
Shaun Tymon, the chief executive of Yorkshire Coast Homes, said that tenants’ welfare was taken very seriously and he was concerned that the proposed changes could cause hardship for many local people.
He added: “I am committed to helping all our tenants that are facing reductions in their benefit entitlement and would urge anyone with concerns to speak to us so we can plan together for the change.
“I hope that today’s session will raise awareness of the proposals and am very grateful to our MP Robert Goodwill for making time to listen to the concerns of our tenants.
“Whilst I recognise that the Government is committed to reforming the welfare system I would urge that it acts to ensure the changes do not have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable people.”