Disabled could be kicked out for having adapted rooms
MPs in Wales have questioned the fairness of the Government's under occupation plans, as disabled people who have had adaptations to their homes face losing their homes for having an extra bedroom.
The Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb, has stated that Welsh housing benefit recipients will have to make the same decisions as those in work when housing benefit reforms are introduced next April.
Under the Government's size criteria rules for the social sector, working age social tenants face having their housing benefit cut for having spare bedrooms, and it appears that this will be the same for disabled tennants who have extra rooms to suit their disability.
Based on current plans, around 660,000 social tenants face losing an average of £14 a week from next April as a result of the new under-occupation rules. The Government's impact analysis shows that disabled claimants affected is significantly higher than for non-disabled claimants and around 420,000 disabled people impacted.
David Hanson MP (Delyn), said:
Many of my constituents who are in work on low incomes face an unpalatable choice in April next year. Do they face unaffordable increases in rent, do they downsize to non-existent one-bedroom flats, or do they make themselves homeless?
Chris Evans, Labour MP for Islwyn in Wales, said:
Many disabled constituents have come to me because, despite having had to make adjustments to their homes simply to accommodate their disability, they now face being kicked out for having an extra bedroom. Does the Minister think that is fair in the 21st century?
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb, said:
The Government are making available transitional funds to help people who have made significant adaptations to their homes in order to cope with serious disability because we recognise that there is a vulnerability and we want to protect those people.
Underpinning our welfare reforms is the need to elevate the principle of making work pay and to ensure much greater fairness in the way our welfare system is delivered.
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