Two-thirds of residents in one borough in arrears due to bedroom tax
3,803 people have been affected by the Government’s spare room subsidy in Sandwell, with 2,432 now in rent arrears.
The borough council’s finance chief, Councillor Steve Eling, allowed councils to develop a strategy which identified individuals that were falling behind on rent and support them if they are eligible for support through discretionary housing payments, reports the Express and Star.
He said: “The way government benefits reforms have played out on the ground is tens of millions of pounds have been spent on welfare changes which haven’t worked and have caused a lot of misery. A significant proportion of people affected by this policy have accrued arrears. This policy was about nothing else than reducing the benefits bill from the start. Anything else that was said about it was a smokescreen. There simply are not enough properties for people to move to downsize. No-one wants to evict a family but the reality is we are going to have situations where people will have to be evicted. We’re very much looking to be proactive and help people avoid debt and arrears, and eviction would be the very last resort. We’re doing all we can to avoid getting to that stage. We can’t pretend bedroom tax does not exist. We’ve got to deal with it but it’s causing an enormous amount of hardship.”
Introduction The National Statement of Expectations for Supported Housing (NSE) was finally published on 20 October 2020, five years after the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review suggested regulatory and oversight changes were needed, although in 2018 the government >>>
How to Fund Housing Support and Social Care Services
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Jaqui Smith - Young Womens Housing Project