Bedroom tax evidence to be given by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
The Scottish Parliament Committee has called upon the SFHA to give evidence on the bedroom tax.
The SFHA are being asked to testify on the efficacy of the Scottish Government’s decision to lessen the impact of the bedroom tax in Scotland whilst also looking at how the move has worked in practise, reports Scottish Housing News.
Jeremy Hewer, SFHA housing policy advisor, said: “Over the past couple of years, the Scottish Government has exercised its financial powers to mitigate the effect of the ‘bedroom tax’, with funding to cover what was estimated to be needed to fully mitigate it in 2014/15 and what is hoped will be sufficient to fully mitigate the bill in this financial year (2015/16). What would be useful for the committee to know is how well has this worked in practice: mitigation is not the same as abolition, and there has been variation in how straightforward or otherwise it has been for housing association tenants who have been subject to the ‘bedroom tax’ to get Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) to cover their liability to the full. We also know that there are a proportion of tenants whose ‘bedroom tax’ liability took them off Housing Benefit, so they were unable to claim DHPs. We are aware that there may have been variation in how tenants with disabilities were treated when they applied for exemption for a spare bedroom on the basis of their condition, and I am anxious to get examples of the experiences of housing associations which I can present to the committee.”
Housing associations wising to give examples of their experience seeking DHP should contact Jeremey Hewer before the 11th May.
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