Bedroom tax loophole identified
- 10 Jan
A loophole has been found in the government's under-occupancy policy which could see some actually profit from the tax.
Thousands have been wrongly identified as liable for the bedroom tax due as a result of a Department of Work and Pensions error. Housing experts say that around 40,000 people could be affected by this new mistake; however the DWP believe only a "small number" of tenants are affected.
The people affected could be eligible for refunds worth an average of at least £640 per claimant and millions in aggregate, reports the Guardian.
The error affects working age tenants who have occupied the same home continuously since 1996. The oversight by the DWP when drafting the legislation means that the housing benefit regulations dating from 1996 were not updated with the coalition legislated for the bedroom tax.
Chris Bryant MP, Labour's shadow minister for welfare reform, said: "This is the latest example of the chaos and confusion within the Department of Work and Pensions under Iain Duncan Smith. Rather than closing loopholes in the policy, the government should scrap their hated bedroom tax. If they don't, the next Labour government will."
The DWP have said that the regulations will be ameded to close the loophole, however it is unsure when this will be done.
It is now believed that some tenants who could now be deemed exempt will have received hundreds of pounds in emergency discretionary housing payments since April. They will have their housing benefit refunded, but will not be obliged to repay the DHP money which could result in some people gaining hundreds of pounds in cash.
Theo Blackwell, the cabinet member for finance at Camden council said: "While good news for those families, it is an administrative nightmare as we have to find those continuously in receipt of housing benefit going back 18 years, when we - like most councils - have changed systems largely from a paper-based one to new IT systems. This is more evidence of how the bedroom tax policy was rushed and ill-conceived."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/169849
- 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...
What are the Future Funding Arrangements for Supported and Sheltered Housing? "Really enjoyable presentation, knowledge of presenters was excellent" M.D. - Community Integrated Care