THE DIRECTOR of housing and communities of Bromsgrove District Housing Trust (BDHT) has urged anyone having problems with Universal Credit to contact the organisation for help.
Graeme Anderson said he was saddened but not surprised to see last Friday’s Standard front page story about 22 per cent of children across Bromsgrove district living below the breadline.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for social housing in the area, and our community partners including local schools and emergency services all report facing significantly more challenges as a result of the rising levels of poverty throughout Bromsgrove.
“There are a number of contributing factors impacting those most vulnerable in our community.”
He added it was not an isolated problem and all tenants were struggling equally whether they were working families, job seekers, elderly residents or those with special needs.
“Following the introduction of Universal Credit, we’ve seen a marked increase in requests for financial advice and support from our customers.”
He added BDHT had hired two additional staff members to specifically to deal with queries created by the complete overhaul of the previous benefits system which merged six forms of Government support into one single monthly payment.
The staff work closely with the council and Department for Work and Pensions to help people understand which benefits they are entitled to and how to properly claim and manage them.
Anyone wanting help on Universal Credit related issues should call BDHT’s incomes team on 0800 0304 254 or visit bht.co.uk for more on the housing trust.