Benefits advice roadshow

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Residents in South Ribble will be able to get advice on changes to benefits at special events this week.

New Progress Housing Association, part of Progress Housing Group, is taking its Benefits Roadshow out to the streets of Leyland, Bamber Bridge and Penwortham.

Residents will be able to speak to members of the housing association’s Financial Inclusion team, along with staff from the Citizens Advice Bureau and Department for Work and Pensions, to get information on welfare reform and advice about how it might affect the income they receive.

Major changes to the benefits system will take place over the next few years, including the switch to Universal Credit, benefit caps and changes to disability living allowance, incapacity benefits and employment support allowance.

The first big change to be introduced will be the ‘Bedroom Tax’ in April, which may affect up to 500 New Progress Housing Association tenants.

It will see tenants with more bedrooms than they need, as defined by the new government rules, lose up to 25% of their housing benefit payments.

The ‘Bedroom Tax’ aims to address under-occupancy by reducing the housing benefit to households with one or more spare bedroom.

New Progress is supporting its tenants to prepare for the changes now by managing their budgets and making sure they don’t run into financial trouble and put their home at risk.

The Benefits Roadshow will visit:

- Bamber Bridge, Methodist Church on the corner of Wesley Street and Station Road on Monday, February 25, 2.30pm – 5pm

- Penwortham Town Council Community Centre on Kingsfold Drive in Penwortham on Tuesday, February 26, 2.30pm – 5pm

- The Base community centre on Bannister Drive, Broadfield Drive estate in Leyland on Thursday, February 28, 2.30pm – 5pm

- The Place community centre on the Wade Hall estate in Leyland on Friday, March 1, 2.30pm- 5pm