Labour Party says housing benefit cuts would have ‘disastrous’ consequences in Portsmouth region

Cllr John Ferrett
Cllr John Ferrett
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‘EXTREME’ housing benefit cuts hidden in the Autumn Statement are set to affect nearly 3,700 tenants across the Portsmouth region, according to new figures released by the Labour Party.

Labour yesterday held an opposition debate led by shadow housing minister John Healey MP to call on the government to urgently exempt people in supported housing from the cuts and to consult fully with supported housing providers to protect accommodation.

The party says the kinds of housing that could be affected include sheltered accommodation for the elderly, homelessness hostels, specialist accommodation for former members of the armed forces and refuges for victims of domestic violence.

Portsmouth, Havant, Fareham and Gosport housing associations together provide 1,022 supported housing units and 2,651 sheltered housing units, meaning at least 3,673 tenants could find their homes come under threat of closure.

Councillor John Ferrett, Portsmouth’s Labour group leader, said: ‘It would be disastrous to inflict these cuts on those who can least afford it in society.

‘There is no way these people or the organisations who support them can make up the huge shortfall created by government cuts.

‘Portsmouth is a proud city with a strong naval tradition and to see the potential threat to ex-servicemen and women is particularly unconscionable.’