Examining the impact of the bedroom tax makes depressing reading.
More support needed
In our south west special this week we highlight the impact of housing benefit reform and the ‘bedroom tax’ on rural communities. It does not make for nice reading.
Due to the shortage of alternative properties, families are being forced to choose between selling their car and meeting higher rents; finding and moving to a smaller home in the private rented sector (where on average housing benefit payments are £32 a week higher than for social homes); or building up arrears. The government has made support available for those affected by the changes, but the £190 million in transitional support and the £180 million for discretionary payments will meet only some of the demand.
Even a tenant in part-time employment, who is in receipt of partial housing benefit, will fare little better. This depressing situation is being repeated across the UK.
Social landlords who are preparing their tenants for the changes must ensure they tell these harrowing stories to a wide audience.