Don Henley: The Boys of SummeriTunesAmazon

Don Henley: The Boys of SummeriTunesAmazon

"It was devastating": This Skipton woman says Universal Credit made her HOMELESS

sad

Published at 7:03am 5th March 2019.

A Skipton woman says she was made homeless after claiming Universal Credit. 

  • Stray FM's investigation into the impact of Universal Credit continues 
  • It was introduced in Harrogate and Craven in 2016 as part of a pilot
  • Stray FM has visited Skipton Food Bank to see the impact
  • One woman tells us she could no longer afford her rented accommodation after claiming Universal Credit 

38-year-old Nicola signed up to claim the new benefit in 2016, when Craven and Harrogate became one of the first areas to trial it. 

Universal Credit represents a huge shake-up of the benefits system and rolls a number of benefits into one. 

Read more about how Universal Credit works here. 

Nicola says after claiming, she found it "impossible" to afford all of her bills. 

With £400 a month to pay in rent and just over £600 coming in, she lost her flat. 

She said: 

"It became impossible to afford gas, water, electric, council tax. 

"At that point I didn't know about the food bank so I was struggling to eat as well. 

"I just got to a point where I knew my next month's rent was not going to be possible."

An issue that has emerged with the new system is a delay in getting the first payment. Some people have had to wait as long as six weeks.

Nicola opted for an advanced payment to tide her over, but didn't realise she would have to start paying it back at a cost of £47 a month.

Nicola added: 

"I was homeless and it was a really scary situation because I never thought I would end up homeless.

"You look at life and think it won't happen to me.

"It was devastating."

You can hear our full interview with Nicola below: 

Nicola tells Stray FM her story

Nicola, who now lives in a homeless hub, says there should be more awareness of the help available for claimants. 

She added: 

"If I can only just and sometimes not make ends meet in homeless temporary accommodation, how about the people who're living in the community in rented accommodation, how are they meant to afford this? 

"I mean, I've already been made homeless."

Prime Minister Theresa May has described the introduction of the benefit changes as a "steady process", saying ministers are "learning through the process".

Despite delaying the nationwide roll out, the government says Universal Credit will be implemented in full by December 2023.

A DWP spokesperson said:

Universal Credit is a force for good, we continue to make improvements where needed and 96% of claimants now receive their payments in full and on time.

“There is a range of specialised support to people struggling with homelessness and housing issues, including help with opening bank accounts, finding accommodation and budgeting. We have also committed to establishing a single point of contact for homelessness issues in every jobcentre.

Food bank use is a complex issue, and can’t be tied to any one cause.”

The Department for Work and Pensions also claims Universal Credit will mean "an extra 200,000 people moving into work and increasing their incomes". It says the system is simpler and families and disabled people will receive more money per month.

It adds "a range of stakeholders, including Refuge, Crisis and StepChange responded positively to Secretary of State’s recent speech, setting out an ambitious new future for Universal Credit."

For more information on Skipton Food Bank visit www.skiptonfoodbank.org

 

Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Stray FM

Newer article

More than 6,000 people claiming Universal Credit in Harrogate and Craven

Special Reports: Local food banks and homeless hostels say it's had a big impact.

Older article
Top articles

Flat fire in Harrogate

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are on scene

Conservative leadership contest: Boris Johnson secures another comfortable victory

National: Boris Johnson has again secured a comprehensive victory in the latest ballot of Conservative MPs to choose their new party leader and the UK's next prime minister.

NASA captures closest-ever photo of massive asteroid Bennu flying near Earth

World: A US spacecraft has captured its closest and most detailed image yet of the 78 billion kilogram asteroid Bennu which gets closer to Earth every six years.

How to use nature to clean your home

Lifestyle: Save the planet with this eco-friendly cleaning course.

Royal Ascot: Blue Point stars, Circus Maximus stuns big two in St James's Palace Stakes

Sport: Blue Point saw off old foe Battaash to successfully defend his crown in the King's Stand Stakes on day one of Royal Ascot.

John Cusack apologises for sharing antisemitic tweet but claims he was victim of bot

Showbiz: Actor John Cusack has apologised for sharing an antisemitic image on social media.

How to use nature to clean your home

Lifestyle: Save the planet with this eco-friendly cleaning course.

WATCH: 43 Minutes of Queen in the 70s

70s: The band's team have put together highlights of the their early career including some iconic performances.

Could your child be at risk of sports-related hip injuries?

Health: Hear from a local surgeon and physiotherapist.

How clean is your air?

Home & Garden: Clean air day is on the 20th of June and we're being encouraged to check our homes.

Top Party Dresses for the Festive Season

Christmas: Local Blogger, the Harrogate Girl, picks the best frocks, gowns and outfits for the big Christmas parties of 2017.

"It's a fantastic place": Harrogate cancer centre celebrates major milestone

Special Reports: The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at Harrogate District Hospital is marking its five year anniversary.

Delve into deliciousness at Mother Shiptons Inn

Test pages: We sent Stray FM's James Stanley to try out the new menu at Mother Shipton's Inn Knaresborough.

Tour de Yorkshire host venues confirmed

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: There'll be no re-run of this year's memorable Tour de France stage finish in Harrogate.

North Yorkshire districts among best places to live in UK

Harrogate, Craven & Wharfedale: Three parts of North Yorkshire have been named in the top ten places to live in the UK.

Beth Parsons leaves Stray FM

Stray FM Station News: A childhood listener who's dream came true is off to pastures new.

Poll

Are you going on an abroad holiday this year?

Trending in Yorkshire

Flat fire in Harrogate

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue are on scene

Plans for Hampsthwaite homes set to be rejected

70 homes and a medical centre would "harm the rural landscape"

Car theft and burglary in Harrogate up by 40 per cent, new report shows

The latest crime statistics have been revealed

Police treat Knaresborough blaze as "suspicious"

The force is appealing for information and witnesses

More news...