My View, Joyce Foster: Homlessness could affect more people

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M25 Housing & Support Group – Doncaster’s local homelessness charity of over 20 years has embarked upon a new era of delivering housing and support to local people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness and need advice or support you can get in touch with us at enquiries@m25group.org.uk or call us on 01302 361777.

On September 10, M25 moved offices to Sunny Bar. This building is one of the oldest in Doncaster and is right in the heart of the town centre. Being at the heart of the town is what M25 are all about.

We think it is important people know that from the September 28 Universal Credit will be introduced to Jobcentres in Doncaster, Thorne and Mexborough starting with new single claimants only.

Universal Credit is a new type of benefit designed to support people who are on a low income or out of work. It will replace six benefits – Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit, meaning you will receive single monthly payments which will be transferred directly into your bank account.

If you get help with your rent which was housing benefit this will be included in the monthly payments.

To get ready for the changes and the fact that you will now receive benefits monthly, you will need a bank /building society account to be able to receive your Universal Credit payments. Your account will need to accept automated payments and allow you to set up regular payments for things like rent and other bills.

You will probably have to make changes to the way you budget, carefully working out what money you have coming in each month and what you need to spend it on.

If you do not have a bank account – M25 can help you set one up – you can call us for information about how to do this.

With approaching 2,000 Doncaster people seeking housing and welfare advice and accommodation support from M25 over the past year – we predict that the number of local people affected by homelessness will increase significantly over the next year as Universal credit rolls out.

In partnership with The Doncaster Star we will provide useful information and facts about what is happening in your town around issues about and relating to homelessness.

You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on issues that may affect you as the impact of welfare reforms and cuts to local government spending bite even deeper into our town.

* Joyce Foster, executive director, M25