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Mayor of London praises work to tackle homelesness in Tower Hamlets, but warns of tough times ahead

PUBLISHED: 19:00 07 September 2018

Mayor highlighted particularly negative consequences of Universal Credit changes on Tower Hamlets. Picture: Mayor of London's Press Office.

Mayor highlighted particularly negative consequences of Universal Credit changes on Tower Hamlets. Picture: Mayor of London's Press Office.

Mayor of London's Press Office

The Mayor of London has praised work being done in Tower Hamlets to tackle the root causes of homelessness, but warned that incoming universal credit changes would have particularly negative consequences for the borough.

Sadiq Khan has praised the work being done by local groups in Tower Hamlets to tackle the root causes of homelessness such as poverty, but warned that incoming universal credit changes would have particularly negative consequences for the borough.

The Mayor outlined his concerns, after highlighting cases of landlords deciding not to take on tenants in receipt of benefits, leading to a paucity of homes being available for benefit claimants.

He said: “We need to persuade landlords to realise there are reasons why people fall into arrears in relation to the delays with Universal Credit.”

He highlighted how Universal Credit pilots in Tower Hamlets had bought into sharp focus the problems with the system.

He said: “I’ve written to the government and asked them to pause on rolling out universal credits, because I’ve seen in areas like Tower Hamlets the consequences of the pilot, such as the delay in receiving benefits.

“That delay leads to people getting into arrears when it comes to rents that can lead to you being made homeless.”

The Mayor said he was really impressed by the role played not only by Tower Hamlets council but also of community groups, including charities and food banks, to help those who fall on hard times.

He praised diversity as one of the key strengths of Tower Hamlets and hoped cohesion in the borough would not be undermined by inequality.

He said: “What I don’t want is a city where we have only the rich living in inner London with the poor living in outer London.”

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