Landlord can’t rehouse ‘bedroom tax’ families
A north east housing association is warning it has only 16 homes to rehouse 2,500 tenants affected by the ‘bedroom tax’.
Coast and Country said its tenants could be driven into poverty as a result of housing benefit cuts for under-occupation despite a lack of smaller homes.
Under the bedroom tax working-age social housing tenants who are receiving housing benefit will have the 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 landlords are warning they do not have enough smaller properties, with those in the north of England particularly badly affected.
Monica Burns, north east manager for the National Housing Federation, said: ‘Housing associations in the north east have always been encouraged by government to build bigger homes so families could live in the same homes for life and didn’t have to move when they had children. And as land was cheaper here that made good sense.
‘Now those same tenants and housing associations are being penalised for having the wrong type of house.’
The NHF said up to 50,000 families across the north east could be affected by the cuts.
Ian Sim, chief executive of Coast and Country, said his association has only got 16 one-bedroom houses. ‘We are very concerned about this and the impact it will have on our tenants,’ he said.
Ian Porter, managing director at Gentoo, added: ‘It is not only one-bedroom properties that are a concern, it is families living in three and four-bedroom homes with children of a certain age who have to share rooms who are also affected by having so-called “additional bedrooms”.’