Downturn and welfare changes prompt housing warning

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The economic downturn and changes to the welfare system has led to a housing crisis warning in rural west Wales.

Steve Jones of Tai Ceredigion housing association said homelessness was often associated with cities, but the rural situation was as bad.

Mr Jones will spend a night sleeping rough in Cardigan on Tuesday to raise awareness of the issue.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has insisted the welfare changes are fair.

Mr Jones will is sleeping rough in Cardigan town centre with the chief executives of Pembrokeshire Housing and the homeless charity Ceredigion Care Society.

"It is critical that we get the voice from rural Wales heard," said Mr Jones, Tai Ceredigion's chief executive.

Sleeping rough

"Whilst homelessness is often associated with cities, the rural situation is as bad if not worse because of the limited supply and lack of variety of accommodation available.

"And it's about to get a lot worse, with the new round of welfare cuts and the triple dip recession upon us."

Cuts to housing benefit for some social housing tenants with a spare room and changes to council tax were announced by the UK government last month.

Mr Duncan Smith has insisted the changes are fair and that they are about restructuring the culture so "people find work always pays".

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