Over a third of tenants affected by the bedroom tax are now in rent arrears reveals a survey.
The survey has been released by the National Federation of ALMOs, the Association of Retained Council Housing and the Councils with ALMOs Group found that 33.3% were in arrears, reports Inside Housing.
The survey had a response from 52 arm’s-length management organisations and councils with a wide geographical split. It discovered regional variations with the southwest of England experiencing the highest proportion of households affected by the under-occupation penalty and in arrears with the northern region seeing the highest increase in the level of arrears for those affected by welfare reforms.
The survey also found that 12.6% of households were affected by the bedroom tax when it was first introduced but saw it decrease to 10.5% by the end of December 2013.
It was also revealed via the survey that there has been a significant rise in the number of landlords resorting to court action, 55% compared to just 2% when members were last surveyed in June 2013.
Alison Freeman, CWAG policy adviser said: “The striking regional differences highlighted by this survey give weight to calls for a more flexible approach, particularly in parts of the country where there is a shortage of smaller properties. For many in these areas, downsizing to a smaller property isn’t an option. “
It examined the extent to which tenants were able to move to a smaller property and found that in the first nine months, only 4.6 per cent of tenants affected by welfare changes had moved to an alternative social housing, on average 13 per cent of those affected by the penalty have registered on the transfer list but not moved as yet and the majority, 60 per cent, choose to ‘pay and stay’.
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