Local MP Stephen Kinnock has visited local housing charity Dewis to meet the service providers and the service users. During the visit Mr Kinnock spoke with Dr Amanda Oliver, Operations Manager, and Dan Jones, who sits on the Dewis board, about the impact of welfare reforms on young people in Port Talbot.
Dewis is a charitable organisation, based on Station Road, offering a range of services, advice and information on housing for young people aged between 16 and 25 across Neath Port Talbot.
Since the introduction of the welfare reforms Dewis have experienced an increase demand around homelessness and housing. With further changes due to come into effect over the next twelve months, including cuts to the Local Housing Allowance, Mr Kinnock heard how these changes would impact on the service.
Speaking after the visit Mr Kinnock said, “Dewis provide an invaluable specialist service to young people in the area. But these cuts put the very future of this service in doubt.
“Dewis provide so much more than just housing, their supported accommodation includes a 24 hour on call service to assist some of our most vulnerable young people.
“There is no way Dewis or those that use the service can make up the massive shortfall these cuts will open up. This would be a catastrophe for those who could least afford it, and ultimately it would lead to a false economy as the young people become homeless and end up costing us more in the long run.
” I will be opposing these cuts every step of the way, in Westminster.”
The cuts to housing benefit would leave Dewis tenants with an average shortfall of £150.