Dad fears he will be made homeless as housing benefit slashed

Burnley man Nathan Andrews who is struggling to pay his rent.'Photo Ben Parsons
Burnley man Nathan Andrews who is struggling to pay his rent.'Photo Ben Parsons
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A BURNLEY dad fears he could be homeless come the New Year after receiving the worst of festive surprises.

Just three days before Christmas Day Mr Nathan Andrews (32) opened a letter from Burnley Council saying his housing benefit was set to be cut from January.

The changes are coming in nationally and mean that under 35s who currently base their benefit on the one-bedroom self-contained rate will now come under a shared accommodation rate, which is much lower.

For Mr Andrews, who lives in the Britannic Buildings in Hargreaves Street, it means that he will now receive £236 a month as opposed to the £300 he currently gets.

“I’m just about able to live now,” he said. “I put £100 of my benefits towards the rent and I can’t afford a penny more. I don’t drink, smoke or go out so there is no way I’ll be able to find the extra money.”

His only other option is to move into shared accommodation but he said that would mean he would be unable to see his one-year-old little boy.

“I’ve only just been able to start seeing him two nights a week and I’m pushing for three. Who knows who I would end up living with if I have to go into shared accommodation and there is no way I’ll be able to carry on seeing him.

“At 32 I shouldn’t be having to live in shared accommodation either. I’ve lived here for six months and everything has been going fine. I don’t want to be starting the New Year by having to find somewhere new to live when I’m perfectly happy where I am, It’s not the nicest thing to find out just before Christmas.”

Burnley Council advises anybody looking for further information to visit www.directgov.uk (under local housing allowance) or to contact the council on 01282 425011.