Bedroom Tax 'Discriminates' Against Disabilities
- 09 May
10 claims taken to the High Court say the government's Bedroom Tax is discriminatory.
The court will hear the claims of ten people who are being negatively affected by the bedroom tax next week.
Two of the tenants claim that the new rules discriminate against people who need larger accommodation for reasons relating to their disability.
Jacqueline Carmichael is challenging regulation B13 introduced into the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, which will see a single person or a couple with no children having their housing benefit reduced by 14% where they occupy a two-bedroom home and by 25% if they occupy a home with three or more bedrooms.
Mrs Carmichael lives with her husband in a two-bedroom flat run by One Vision Housing. She has spina bifida, is severely disabled and is cared for day and night by her husband.
Her condition means that she has to sleep in a hospital bed with an electronic pressure mattress and has to sleep in a fixed position. Mr Carmichael cannot sleep in this bed with her as it is not large enough for two people and his movements at night could cause her harm. There is not enough space in her bedroom for a second bed so Mr Carmichael sleeps in a second bedroom.
Since 1 April, the Carmichaels have had their housing benefit reduced by 14%. They have now been granted a Discretionary Housing Payment to cover the shortfall in their rent for six months, but they do not know how they will meet their rent when the period ends.
Leigh Day's other client is Richard Rourke, a disabled widower who uses a wheelchair.
Mr Rourke lives with his stepdaughter in a three-bedroom council bungalow. His stepdaughter is also disabled with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, a degenerative condition that attacks the lungs, heart and muscles.
She is currently in the first year of university and lives in halls of residence during term time but returns home for the full summer vacation, at holiday periods and at weekends.
The tenant uses the third bedroom, a small box room, to store his equipment including a hoist for lifting him, his power chair and his shower seat.
Mr Rourke has looked in the social and private sector for two-bedroom properties which are suitable for wheelchair use but none are available.
Since April, Mr Rourke has had his housing benefit cut by 25% as he is deemed to be under-occupying by two bedrooms.
Mr Rourke's only income is from benefits. Unable to work, his day-to-day living costs are increased due to his disabilities, and he has not been able to pay the shortfall in his rent of £25.38 per week.
Mr Rourke made an application for DHP funding in March, but his case not yet been decided. He is currently accruing rent arrears.
Ugo Hayter from the Human Rights team at Leigh Day, the law firm representing the two tenants, said:
We hope that the Court will rule that these Regulations are discriminatory in that they completely fail to make any provision for those who need larger accommodation as a result of their or their family members' disability.
We hope that the government will be made to amend these Regulations and reverse the devastating consequences currently being experienced by thousands of people with disabilities around the country.
Source: 24 Dash
- 02 Nov
THE ONS PLANS TO CHANGE THEIR DECISION TO MAKE HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS PUBLIC BODIES
According to reports by 24 Housing, the ONS said the following:Gavin Smart, Chartered Institute of Housing's deputy chief executive also said:"Although we have been expecting this decision for some...
- 30 Aug
RECENT ANALYSIS FINDS THAT THE HELP TO BUY SCHEME HAS ADDED TO THE INFLATION OF HOUSE PRICES
The analysis of the Help to Buy Scheme revealed the following:The chief executive of Paradigm Housing Group, Matthew Bailes, said:" ... clearly, it worked well for developers, and for providers, it...
- 22 Aug
A NORTH WALES COUNCIL REVEALED THEIR WAITING LIST FOR NEW HOMES HAS REACHED BREAKING POINT
The north Wales Council revealed their waiting list for new homes has reached "breaking point".According to Clare Budden, Flintshire Council's community enterprise chief officer said:"There are...
- 17 Aug
HOMELESSNESS POLICY IS UNDER REVIEW IN A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNCIL
Kettering Borough Council has amended its letters to homeless residents to let them know of their right to request a temporary accommodation review.According to an ombudsman, Michael King:"People in...
- 15 Aug
FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS HAVE CAUSED THE CLOSURE OF MANY CHILDREN AND YOUTH CENTRES
Local Government Association (LGA) made the following findings:Chair of the LGA's children and young people board, Richard Watts, said: "The reality is that services for the care and protection of...
- 11 Aug
RESIDENTS OF BUILDINGS IN LEDBURY ESTATE, SOUTHWARK, SOUTH LONDON WILL BE MOVED OUT TEMPORARILY
The buildings in Ledbury Estate in Southwark have been constructed in a similar way to Ronan Point, a tower block in Newham which collapsed in 1968 as a result of a gas explosion, killing three. An...
- 10 Aug
THERE IS A DECLINE IN THE HOUSING MARKET IN LONDON AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) made the following findings:Chief Economist at Rics, Simon Rubinsohn:"Sales activity in the housing market has been slipping in the recent month...
- 07 Aug
REPORT FINDS THAT PEOPLE ARE INTENSELY SUFFERING FROM LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOMES IN SCOTLAND
According to the report by "Shelter":Shelter's deputy director, Alison Watson, said:"This report shows the disproportionate impact of Scotland's housing crisis on young people and private renters who...
- 02 Aug
NEW REPORT BY THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT COMMITTEE IN WALES COMMENDS HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS
The report which was put together after nine months of inquiries stated the following:Nick Ramsey, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said:"Generally, we found governance and regulation within...
- 31 Jul
LONDON COUNCIL URGES THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MEASURES TO END LETTING FEES FOR PRIVATE RENTERS
The London council say urgent action is needed because the government has not provided "a clear timescale to introduce its own measure", Letting Agent Today, reports.Last year, the government had...
Revenue Optimisation "I am really impressed with Support Solutions and how small organisations are supported with information and training" Susan Harrison (Tenant Support Services)