Benefit claimants in North Lincolnshire at risk of homelessness, claims charity

A charity has warned that new housing benefit claimants in North Lincolnshire are at risk of homelessness because of how long they have to wait for their claim to be processed.
A charity has warned that new housing benefit claimants in North Lincolnshire are at risk of homelessness because of how long they have to wait for their claim to be processed.

Housing benefit applicants are at risk of homelessness because of the time it is taking for their claims to be processed, according to a charity.

Between April 2017 and March 2018, new claimants in North Lincolnshire waited on average 31 days before their application was completed, according to data from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Charity Turn2Us said people can be threatened with eviction and face homelessness while they have to wait.

The average wait time in the area is twice as long as councils are legally required to respond within; two weeks, or as soon is practical.

Pritie Billimoria, head of communications, said: "Housing benefit is not a luxury people can afford to wait for.

"It is not good enough that the average wait is almost twice as long as the legal requirement. At best, these delays and long waiting times are leaving people on the brink of losing the roof over their head and at worst are pushing people into homelessness.”

The wait time in North Lincolnshire is above the average of 22 days, which includes weekends.

There were 9,726 housing benefit claimants in North Lincolnshire in February 2018, the latest available data.