Housing associations reveal the pressure of bedroom tax

  • Housing associations told the House of Commons that they are facing mounting problems with rent arrears as a direct result of the bedroom tax. /images/rent_due.jpg

    Labour MPs Julie Hilling (Bolton West) and Alex Cunningham (Stockton North) revealed how social landlords in their constituencies had seen a sharp rise in arrears due to the controversial under-occupation policy, reports 24dash.

    Hilling said: "Bolton at Home tells me that its arrears stand at £1.9 million, even though it has a 97% collection rate and has employed an additional 11 people to increase collection and support tenants in financial difficulty. The Minister's policies are jeopardising his business model on social housing and the ability to build new houses and improve current stock. Can he honestly say that his policies are working?"

    Communities Minister Stephen Williams replied: "According to the information I have, the number of people affected by the social size criteria has fallen across Bolton, from 3,215 households when the policy started in May 2013 to 2,775 now, so there seems to be some discrepancy in the figures."

    But Alex Cunningham backed up his Labour colleague's claim, adding: "Across Stockton borough, arrears for Tristar Homes are up by 25%, to nearly £1.2 million, on the year prior to the introduction of the bedroom tax, and they would be up by 60% if both Tristar Homes and the local authority were not helping with some discretionary aid. Several hundred people, many of them disabled, are in arrears for the first time in their lives, causing unseen misery and even shame. Was it really the Secretary of State's intention to grind such people into the ground?"

    Stephen Williams replied: "It is not the intention of either the Secretary of State or me to grind anyone into the ground. The whole point of applying size criteria to the social sector is to match the criteria that already exist in the private rented sector, and they existed throughout the entire 13-years period that the hon. Gentleman's party was in government. The policy is about fairness to taxpayers as well as to tenants. For those tenants who have difficulty moving, Stockton council, like all local authorities, has discretionary housing payments in order to help them through the process."

    What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions

Related articles

  • Read More

    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...

  • Read More

    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...

  • Read More

    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...

  • Read More

    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...

  • Read More

    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...

  • Read More

    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...

  • Read More

    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...

  • Read More

    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...

  • Read More

    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...

  • Read More

    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

 

Briefing Signup