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Gloucestershire Business News

Labour leader accused of getting his facts wrong over evictions

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of giving inaccurate information about the number of tenants evicted by Gloucester City Homes housing association.

Mr Corbyn attacked the Government's Universal Credit system at Prime Minister's Question Time claiming it was plunging low income families into debt.

The Labour leader backed this up by saying: "Gloucester City Homes has evicted 1 in 8 of all of its tenants because of Universal Credit."

However Gloucester City Homes said: "This statement is not factually accurate and the reference implies that we are evicting 1 in 8 of all GCH's tenants.

"The evictions quoted by Mr Corbyn relates to 8 of the current 66 Universal Credit claimants at September 2017, compared to GCH's overall eviction rate of 1 tenant for the remaining 4,442 tenanted homes.

"GCH does not take the decision to evict its tenants lightly and in all of the 8 cases who were on UC, we followed a significant safeguarding process which consists of at least 11 stages and we have to abide with a pre-action protocol designed to avoid legal action and sustain tenants in their homes.

"Prior to the introduction of UC, the average level of arrears for the 8 evicted UC claimants was £770 (an average of 2.5 months of rent arrears).

"At the point of eviction, this had risen to an average of £1,828 (an average of 5 months of rent arrears). The average level of arrears across all UC claims is £361 (an average of 1 month rent arrears)."

GCH added: "Eight five per cent UC claimants in Gloucester were already in rent arrears before going on to the new UC system which represents 46 of 66 claimants to date.

"GCH has a strong track record of collecting rental income and supporting tenants to manage their arrears.

"Our support mechanisms include providing funding support for both Gloucester Law Centre and the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to provide direct and speedy access to welfare benefits advice for our tenants. We also sign post tenants to the Gloucester Credit Union for short term loans and access to credit."

Punchline contacted the Labour party and is awaiting a response.

Picture credit: Pixabay

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