Home Homeless Jobseekers To Be Granted Temporary Reprieve From Benefit Sanctions

Homeless Jobseekers To Be Granted Temporary Reprieve From Benefit Sanctions

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Homeless jobseekers, and those in supported accommodation, are to be granted exemptions from benefit sanctions in new legislation being brought before parliament today (20 June 2014), Inside Housing has reported.

Under the new legislation, which comes into force from 21 July 2014, homeless jobseekers found to be in ‘domestic emergency’ will not be required to look for work or partake in work related activity, such as the Work Programme, while they attempt to find somewhere to live.

The temporary reprieve from being required to ‘actively’ look for work, and the ever-present looming threat of having their benefits docked if they fail to do so, is expected to last for up to four weeks, during which time rough sleepers must be able to demonstrate that they are taking reasonable actions to find new accommodation.

Jacqui McCluskey, director of policy and communications at the charity Homeless Link, said that the new regulations “recognise additional needs and barriers homeless people face and the importance of easing the pressure people face when trying to find a suitable place to live”.

St Mungo’s Broadway’s director of work, skills and advice, Kyla Kirkpatrick added:

“We know from talking to our clients that the majority want to work but being homeless is an obstacle to job-hunting.

“These changes could help temporarily ease the pressure to find a home and a job at the same time for people who are often struggling with health problems and a lack of basic skills, as well as homelessness.”

The new legislation comes less than a year after research by Homeless Link discovered that as many as 31% of homeless Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants had been affected by benefit sanctions, compared to just 3% of ‘typical claimants’.

According to the research, the loss of benefit resulted in 87% being forced to turn to food banks and 62% turned to crime in order to survive.

Today’s news will be welcomed by many. However, it remains unclear as to whether four weeks will be sufficient enough time for many homeless jobseekers to find a place to live, or what effect it may have on their future benefit payments if they are unsuccessful.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. So the homeless have a month to find a place to live otherwise they are sanctioned? How much lower can a person be pushed?

  2. I don't see anywhere in the article where we say it's a 'good thing'. At the end of the day we are in the business of reporting news and leave opinion to readers and bloggers. It's not our place to tell people what to think.

  3. Will those that are locked out of their homes, for 3300 days, until they agree to stop a Pro democracy case going to the UN's ECHR, be allowed money to eat again. Or, will it not apply to them!

  4. IDS is absolutely disgusting. He's caused a lot of homelessness with his evil Bedroom Tax and unjust benefit sanctions, and now he's trying to make out he's doing these people a favour! He blames his behaviour on the need to save money, yet he has wasted millions on the nonsensical and totally unworkable Universal Credit , the useless Universal Jobmatch, and his own dodgy expenses. He should be sacked right now!

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