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Universal Credit in Great Yarmouth: The evicted tenant

PUBLISHED: 17:51 01 December 2016 | UPDATED: 17:51 01 December 2016

Landlords have warned problems introducing the welfare changes could lead to a rise in rough sleepers in Yarmouth. 
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Landlords have warned problems introducing the welfare changes could lead to a rise in rough sleepers in Yarmouth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2016

When Mathew Wright lost his job as a maintenance engineer in April he assumed he would be able to get welfare to see him through.

Instead he waited three months for the first payment, suffered angina under the stress and was eventually evicted for falling into rent arrears.

The 55-year-old from Great Yarmouth said he went to the job centre four times to show paperwork and apply for universal credit.

After three months he got his first payment but in the meantime he had fallen into arrears and was stressed about the situation.

Soon after getting his first payment he developed angina and was taken to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston.

While in hospital, he missed a job centre interview.

And because he missed that appointment his universal credit was stopped for the next two months, despite obtaining doctors’ letters about his illness. “They said I was not filling my obligations of looking for work,” he said.

His landlord evicted him when his arrears exceeded £1,000 and he took out a loan to pay for a deposit on a new home.

The universal credit payments have now started again. He receives £196 a month after rent is paid which he described as putting him “on the breadline.”

It has made me ill,” he said. “It has given me a heart condition. It all started with the stress of being unemployed and not having money.”

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