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Housing Benefit (York)

Volume 547: debated on Tuesday 26 June 2012

Private tenants on low incomes in York face a particular problem because their housing benefit is based not on rents in York, but on rents in a broad market rental area that includes towns and villages 20 miles from York, where rents are much lower. I therefore present a petition on behalf of residents of York. The petition is signed by two of my constituents, Helen Graham and Graham Martin, and is supported by the signatures of almost 1,000 people.

The petition states:

The Petition of residents of York,

Declares that York is facing a housing crisis, with homelessness in York in 2010/2011 40% up on the previous year; further declares that the Government’s reforms to Housing Benefits mean that of 6,299 private rented properties previously affordable in the city, 3,700 will be lost, a reduction of almost 50%; declares that this is effectively driving people out of York and away from their jobs, families and friends; and declares that York’s Broad Market Rental Area, which determines the level of Housing Benefit currently available, should be based on the York Unitary Authority area and not on neighbouring towns including, Tadcaster, Selby, and Pocklington, all of which have lower rents than York, in order to reduce the pressure on people to move away from the city which is their home.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to make changes to the boundary of the York Broad Market Rental Area to include only the York Unitary Authority area.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.