Stratford council fears housing benefit cut burden

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Government plans to reduce housing benefits could overburden financially-strapped authorities in Warwickshire and Coventry, a council has warned.

Stratford-on-Avon council estimates that 8,500 people in its jurisdiction could be affected by the cuts, which could make them unable to pay rent.

It said the cuts could produce more homeless people, for whom the council had a duty of care to provide for.

About 39,000 people in Coventry receive housing and council tax benefits.

The housing benefit cuts are part of a measure within the Spending Review to reduce the welfare bill and bring down a £155bn budget deficit.

Dave Webb, Stratford-on-Avon District Council's head of revenues and housing, said: "Quite clearly a number of the changes are going to actually make it more difficult for people to afford their privately rented accommodation.

"And the big fear for Stratford district is that we could end up potentially with more people who may be threatened with homelessness and obviously that is a major concern for the council as we have a duty to look after the homeless."

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