Turning bedrooms into bathrooms to avoid bedroom tax?
- 21 Aug
Many are already starting to feel the effects of bedroom tax, but there are now new plans to help those struggling by turning spare bedrooms into bathrooms.
Social landlord Magneta Living who are the largest registered provider of social housing the Wirral are expected to make the changes to initially 200 homes.
Former Welfare minister Frank Field has welcomed the move saying that: "The bedroom tax is iniquitous and Magenta is clearly undertaking this review with tenants in mind and I think they need to be applauded."
Brian Simpson, Magenta Living's chief executive, said: "Magenta Living is developing a scheme to relocate poorly insulated prefabricated bathroom units which were fitted many years ago to the rear of some houses into the inside of these homes.
"The consequence of this work will be that the number of bedrooms will be reduced in these properties." He added: "We have not yet consulted our tenants on the scheme and are not able to comment further at this time."
The official reason for the conversions are classed as home improvement however the results will help protect people who otherwise would be penalised for being in possession of a spare room.
Many councils, landlords and housing associations are taking rearguard actions against the bedroom tax, with many exploiting a legal loophole by reclassifying thousands of rooms to reduce the number classed as ‘bedrooms'. Many councils have also adopted a ‘no eviction' approach to people who fall behind on rent payments as a result of bedroom tax. Bolton at Home is the first to employ a ‘no homelessness' policy to help those affected.
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Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Sincere thanks to Michael Patterson for an excellent presentation on the HB Reform issues in Leeds last week, and for all the very helpful info and links. I do intend to respond on behalf of our organisation, Caring For Life, but feel that Support Solutions' response is excellent." E.S. - Caring for Life