Citizens Advice Bureau
CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU, WESTHILL and DISTRICT
Charity Number SC037679, Company Number 365959.
Cuts to Housing Benefit mean that some people in Aberdeenshire will lose £54.23 from their weekly budget.
The government is changing its rules on Housing Benefit payments for 25-34 year olds. Currently such people can claim enough to live on their own, but from now on, everyone in this age group will automatically get the reduced HB rate for shared accommodation (which will be significantly less than what is needed to sustain a one-person home).
Such people will therefore be forced to move into shared homes. Yet most housing experts believe there is a shortage of such housing and therefore expect an increase in homelessness and rough sleeping.
People who are receiving Housing Benefit are, by definition, vulnerable. You don’t get HB unless you really need help. It generally means you are unemployed or on a low wage, or perhaps suffering from an illness or disability. These are not rich people and they are not living in luxurious accommodation. To lose £54 a week will be a real blow to them. It doesn’t make sense to us that someone can be entitled to something today and then not entitled to it the next day – purely based on their age and not on their circumstances. It seems this age group is just unlucky enough to be the latest target for government cuts.
As ever, people who are worried about their finances can get free, confidential and impartial advice from the CAB at our offices in Westhill, Aboyne and newly opened Alford.
Our funding application to Aberdeenshire Council for the 2011/2012 financial year was not fully met leaving us approximately £25,000 pounds short of the funds we need. We know that public funds are tight but we did not expect the fact that demand for our services is increasing at the rate of 100% per year to be totally ignored.
We have set up a fundraising committee. Can you help? Are you a fundraiser? Would you and/or your Company like to contribute to this local service that is being used by so many people in need?
We are always looking for new advisers to start training, and we would welcome volunteers for general office duties.
Want to get involved? Please give us a call on 01224 747714 or come to our AGM at 7pm on 21st June 2011 in the Academy staff room.
Worried about something? We are here to help.
Westhill hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 9.30 am – 1.30 pm and Fridays: 1.30 – 4.30 pm.
Aboyne hours are 10 am to 12:30 pm Thursdays. Alford hours are 10 am to 1 pm Tuesdays.