Friday, 27 March 2015

Bedroom tax 'won't work in Liverpool'

The government’s bedroom tax won’t work in Liverpool, a housing association targeted by protesters has said.

Activists protested at the offices of Liverpool Mutual Homes last week about the bedroom tax. It is understood LMH was targeted because it briefly considered a scheme under which it would have paid the bedroom tax for tenants carrying out voluntary work. LMH, which has lobbied against the bedroom tax policy, has since dropped the plan.

Under the bedroom tax social tenants who are of working age and receiving housing benefit will have their payments cut if they are deemed to be under-occupying their home. To avoid the penalty they will have to move to a smaller property. But figures now published by LMH show four in 10 social homes in Liverpool are three bed-properties while only 23.5 per cent are one-bed properties and 28 per cent are two bed.

Angela Forshaw, director of housing at LMH, said: ‘Even if every LMH tenant agreed to downsize it would take us up to seven years to be able to offer them suitable alternative housing and this doesn’t take into account the current waiting list or a requirement for us to accommodate urgent cases such as statutory homeless people.

‘The housing stock data underlines what we have been saying since the government first introduced the policy: the bedroom tax won’t work in Liverpool.’

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