Caritas Anchor House

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Caritas Anchor House supports call to ensure sanctions do not lead to homelessness

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Caritas Anchor House supports call to ensure sanctions do not lead to homelessness

22nd February 2017
Caritas Anchor House has welcomed a report by the Committee of Public Accounts which says that 'suspending benefit payments can lead to rent arrears and homelessness'.

Keith Fernett, Chief Executive of Caritas Anchor House, said:

“Caritas Anchor House welcomes this report, which helps to bring to light the injustice of suspending benefit payments. Suspending people's benefit payments can lead them into debt, rent arrears and homelessness, which can undermine their efforts to find work.

“At a time when we are seeing homelessness dramatically increase each year in the UK, we must stop and review the Government’s system which is leading to homelessness, rather than preventing it.

“We welcome the recommendation to issue a ‘first offence’ warning rather than the immediate loss of benefits, and that the Government take more robust measures to ensure that housing benefit is not wrong stopped as a result of a sanction. As the report states, the Department of Work and Pensions cannot estimate the wider impact of sanctions, and so this dangerous, existing policy must be reformed.

“Changing the nature of our benefits system to ensure it works for all, particularly the most vulnerable, is fundamental and I urge the government to act on the recommendations put forward by the Committee of Public Accounts.”

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