Bedroom Tax Tenants at Risk of Eviction
- 28 May
Council's assessments of the welfare cut show that tens of thousands of people in Britain risk being made homeless because of the bedroom tax.
After an initial period of lenience, councils start to clamp down on rent arrears caused by the bedroom tax.
This has resulted in thousands of people receiving letters with notification of arrears from councils and housing associations with the threat of possible eviction long term.
Housing authorities have also confirmed that large numbers of tenants are unable to pay the extra rent caused by the tax.
The government's bedroom tax statistics show that 600,000 people would be affected by the implementation of a tax of 14% of their housing benefit on those who have an unused bedroom, and 25% on those who have two unused rooms.
These claimants were expected to lose an average of £14 per week from their housing benefit, and many councils have reported that tenants are now in arrears with their rent payments:
The purpose behind the tax according to the government is to move people out of homes that they do not fully occupy to make room for families that are squeezed in to a house that is too small.
However, False Economy, the trade union-backed campaign, collected data from 107 local authorities which shows 86,000 households have been forced to look for one-bedroom homes, of which only 33,000 have become available in the past year.
They focused on one-bed properties as ministers had been forced to acknowledge last year that there was a "shortage" of such homes but pressed on regardless with the policy. A spokesman for False Economy said:
The disparity between the demand for one-bed housing and a whole year's worth of supply is so severe that there is little hope of plugging the shortfall.
Tenants in Arrears
Queens Cross Housing Association in Glasgow had 291 tenants affected by bedroom tax, and 226 of these are now in arrears.
More than a third of local housing association tenants in Nottingham are in arrears for their rent.
Portsmouth City Council said that 300 people were now in arrears.
Southway Housing Trust in Manchester have reported that 650 social housing tenants had seen an increase in arrears.
Southway Housing's contact centre manager Luke Benfield said:
Our greatest fear is that, pressurised by the bedroom tax and eventually by universal credit, people will turn to loan sharks and door-step lenders and short-term loans to cover living expenses, trapping them in a cycle of debt.
Letters have been sent out by some housing associations saying that tenants will be evicted if payments are not kept up, and in South Lanarkshire, the council leader was forced to apologise earlier this month after letters were sent to residents threatening eviction. Eddie McAvoy insisted that there would be "no evictions of people who engage with us and whose arrears are solely the result of the bedroom tax".
Discretionary Housing Payments
People who have disabilities have also been hit hard, and tenants have not found the discretionary housing payments to cover the loss they have and will be in arrears.
Ministers have claimed that there will be no evictions as a result of the change in the law, but Ken Butler, welfare rights officer for Disability Rights UK, said:
The amount of money that the Government has made available to fund discretionary housing payments is not sufficient to reach the shortfall.
Research by the National Housing Federation found that if the £30m of discretional housing payments was distributed equally among every claimant of disability living allowance affected, they would each receive only £2.51 per week.
David Orr, chief executive of the federation, said:
For some the only option is to move into homes for private rent, which in many parts of the country are much higher than social rents, so the government won't make the savings it hopes.
The bedroom tax is an ill-thought-through and unfair policy that will cause distress for hundreds of thousands of people forced to move from homes and communities in which they have lived for years. It must be scrapped now.
- 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 "Coventry Mind has recently worked through a programme of Housing Benefit optimisation with Support Solutions and in particular their specialist Danny Key. Throughout the whole process Danny demonstrated that he has excellent knowledge of the subject and was able to put forward a convincing case for the increase in funding to the Housing Benefit team. Coventry Mind has already and will continue to recommend Support Solutions and in particular this service to other organisations." Steven Hill - Director of Central Services