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Benefit Reforms Lead to High Level of Demand for BHT Advice Services

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BHT Advice CentreBHT’s housing advice centres have reported a rise in the number of people seeking advice due to changes to ‘Support for Mortgage Interest'(SMI).

Advisers at BHT’s Hastings and Eastbourne Advice centres have experienced a high level of demand for their housing advice as the two year limit on payments of SMI comes to an end.

Changes made to the benefit in 2009 saw claimants incur a time limit of two years on the financial assistance they would receive. For many, this time limit was up from the 5th January 2011.

For more information on SMI’s and mortgage arrears please contact BHT Hastings Advice on 01424 452610 or Eastbourne Advice on 01323 63643.

Sue HennellIn both Hastings and Eastbourne there are a growing number of mortgage holders struggling to meet their mortgage costs with nearly 10% of home owners struggling with serious arrears.

We have seen a worrying increase in the number of people seeking advice in relation to the changes to SMI in the last month. A large number of people are already struggling with their mortgages and these benefit changes will undoubtedly make the situation worse.

BHT normally has an adviser at the Court offering free and confidential advice on the day of any Court hearing. Please do attend even if you have not already received advice as you think there is no chance of saving your home. There is often something that can be done, even at the eleventh hour.

Sue Hennell, BHT East Sussex Advice Services Manager

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