A Hull bailiff has blamed changes to the welfare system for a recent increase in the number of families being evicted from homes in the city.
Gavin Orsborne says recent Government welfare changes means he’s now evicting up to five families a week.
He says the introduction of the Universal Credit is forcing many people into rent arrears:
“Change in Government policy is having a big impact on people who are actually living in rented or council accomodation. We’re getting more and more requests to go and take repossession of property as a result of people not being in a position to pay their rent.”
He says it’s having a big impact on repossessions in Hull:
“Before the rent for rented accomodation was paid to the landlord, that has now all changed and it goes to the tenant. So people are now facing the situation where they ask themselves, do they pay the landlord or do they put warm clothing on the children’s backs? It’s once they make that wrong decision, it’s very, very difficult to get back on track.”
He says the situation’s got worse since last year:
“The way that the benefits are all amalgamated into one payment; the by-product of that is that people do not know how to handle their finances. We’re averaging between 3 and 5 evictions a week, but there will be other bailiffs coming in from other areas.”
He says the Government must address the issue:
“We recognise that there is an issue with the current system, where people are having trouble paying their rent and people need to learn how to handle their finances. The Government needs to sit down and review the impact that it does have on the general public and those that are in rented accomodation and on benefits.”