‘Eat, heat or retreat’ the 2012 question

The decision people face in 2012 isn’t the famous ‘heat or eat’ question but ‘heat, eat or retreat.’

That is according to Dove House Advice Centre, as looming April cuts to the Housing Benefit (HB) rates are likely to increase the rate of enforced evictions. Dove House is already “inundated” with worried private sector and Housing Executive tenants. Maureen Collins, Neighbourhood Assist co-ordinator said: “It has all been people concerned with HB cuts, people are wondering what can they do. Our advice is they have to fight the cuts, they have to write to their MLA, the Minister for Social Development and the press. The issue is compounded by the fact that there is no social housing available in Derry. Where are the people who can not meet the rent increase, supposed to go?”

Dove House are advising those likely to be affected by the cuts to budget accordingly. “You just can’t stick your head in the sand. We would also ask landlords to show some patience with existing tenants. It is a bad economic climate, are you sure the next tenant will not have the same difficulty?”