The impact of bedroom tax on disabled tenants is set to waste £40m
- 07 Feb
Over £40m is said to be wasted in Wales due to the impact of the bedroom tax on disabled people living in specially adapted properties.
A study by social landlord Wales and West Housing has found that of the 779 homes assessed as being under-occupied, 74 have been specifically altered to fit the needs of their tenants. This averages a cost of £7,700 each. Due to the bedroom tax, almost half of these disabled tenants are now in arrears with their rent.
The study also says that if all of the disabled residents living in significantly adapted properties were forced to move out of their home, an estimated £575,000 of public money would've been wasted on adapting their properties. If small properties were available, they estimate a further £600,000 would need to be spent adapting these to meet the needs of Wales and West Housing's residents, reports 24dash.
Figures from 21 of the 22 local authorities across Wales show that approximately 35,000 households in Wales have been affected by the bedroom tax.
Shayne Hembrow, WWH's deputy chief executive and commercial director, said: "Our research shows that the removal of the spare room subsidy from disabled people living in adapted properties in Wales makes no financial sense whatsoever. The cost of new adaptations wipes out the potential savings in housing benefit for many years. Wales is on track to waste at least £40m of public money as a result of the removal of this subsidy. At a time of intense financial pressure on government and local authorities we believe disabled people living in substantially adapted homes should be exempt from the regulations. Our research has also shown that over half of our disabled residents living in substantially adapted properties have fallen into rent arrears due to the removal of the spare room subsidy. Yet it is a pernicious, catch-22 situation for most, if not all, of them because there are simply nowhere near the required number of smaller properties available for people with disabilities to downsize into."
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