Saturday, 01 November 2014

Three quarters of bedroom tax tenants won’t move

Three quarters of tenants who will be affected by the bedroom tax would refuse to move even if smaller properties were available, research conducted by one landlord has suggested.

Staffordshire-based housing association Aspire has found 379 of the 560 tenants it has spoken to who will be affected by the under-occupation penalty are prepared to cope with a reduction in housing benefit rather than move home.

Around 880 of the 9,000 properties owned or managed by Aspire will be affected by the penalty. The landlord is in the process of contacting the remaining people who will be affected, and said initial results suggest around 75 per cent are once again saying they won’t move.

Of the Aspire tenants who do not intend to simply put up with the penalty, 127 said they wanted to downsize, 73 asked for help finding work, and six said they were thinking about taking in a lodger.

Aspire has around 1,000 one-bedroom properties, and has already rehoused 40 people who would have been hit by the penalty. It is giving people who will be hit by the charge additional priority for rehousing, to increase their chances of being able to move.

Paul Malkin, income manager at Aspire, said most tenants who will be affected are now aware of the impending cut, which comes in from 1 April.

‘About 95 per cent of the people who will be affected we have spoken to,’ he said. ‘We are hoping all the work that we’ve put in will help us out when it starts, and we will see much less of an increase in arrears.’

Under the bedroom tax, working age social tenants who are on housing benefit will have their payments cut if they are deemed to have one or more spare bedrooms. One spare bedroom will result in a 14 per cent cut, with a 25 per cut for two spare rooms.

Similar research conducted by other housing associations has also found a high proportion of social tenants are prepared to put up with financial hardship rather than move house. Wirral Partnership Homes found 45 per cent of its tenants would rather accept the penalty than move.

Readers' comments (51)

  • Tenantplustwo

    Maybe all of us who will be left homeless after this obnoxious tax is brought we could all bunk into Sandringham Palace, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Highgrove? I am sure there are enough spare rooms there to house us all.

    And let us not forget, that those places are state-owned, we own them. I also wonder if we could all bunk into the spare rooms that many politicians have, in their second and third homes - which, I will again repeat, are all state-owned.

    If they are so worried about making space for families waiting to be housed, well, politicians and royalty have plenty of spaces in their 'under-occupied homes. God save us from these inhuman monsters who push forward such evil, divisive and unworkable policies.

    Believe you and me, this is Cameron's Poll Tax Mark 2. This will finish the Coalition once and for all. You simply do not mess around with peoples homes and peoples lives like this.

    They have gone too far. And an early election should be called as soon as possible, as a Vote of No Confidence in these evil, inept public schoolboys, who are playing at being politicians. And,who, I may add, have never had a proper job in their whole lives.

    They have also never been in power before and it seems that power has definitely gone to their heads. They are completely forgetting who they work for here, us, the British public - the vast majority of which are now being vilified, and classed as 'scroungers' and 'workshy'.

    How dare they tar us all the same. All I will say to that, is people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. And as for claiming benefits, people are only claiming back what they have paid in. In other words, they are claiming back their own money, not taxpayers money, as this Government keeps repeating.

    The money people on benefits claim is their own, that they have paid into the system. I am not talking about those who have never worked, and so have never paid into the system but still get benefits [that then is taxpayers money]

    But the vast majority of us have worked, all our lives, and paid into the system. And we are now claiming back what we are entitled too, which is our own money.

    Through no fault of our own we find ourselves out of work, or in ill health, etc, yet we are vilified and tarred. Absolutely disgraceful language from so-called politicians.

    This defunct Government, who didn't even win the last election, have no mandate to do what they are doing. And as for the Liberals? They are finished as a political party. No one will trust them ever again after this.

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  • ManWithAbacus

    In 2012 Aspire spent £23.4m of their £29.4m social housing rents on costs.

    That's a staggering 80% cost base!

    If 880 people are affected and their average benefit reduction is £20 per week, Aspire would only need to cut its cost base by £0.9m to fund the gap.

    That's a 4% cut in its cost base!

    Why are HAs even contemplating charging tenants when they waste so much money?

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  • Tenantplustwo - that is your sanest rant to date. I actually find myself agreeing with much of what you say. When can I expect to see your name on a ballot paper? :-)

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  • michael barratt

    The Daily Telegraph (appropriately on Mothers’ day 10th March) quoted a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions who claimed the Government has protected the incomes of pensioners and disabled people, and most working age benefits will continue to increase 1 per cent. How untruthful is that claim? What about disabled people, families and pensioners caught up the Bedroom tax trap – are their incomes protected? It seems the Government can tell lies with impunity, including providing misinformation across the dispatch box to the extent of making false speeding declarations appear trivial offence.

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  • ManWithAbacus - your knowledge of the sector is staggeringly inept. What do you expect HA's (old terminology) to spend their money on? And lets not forget that this is a government policy being implemented without any consultation with the landlord's affected.

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  • SER YEK

    ManWithAbacus | 11/03/2013 8:43 am. Won't comment upon your calculation but agree whole heartedly with " when they waste so much money", going so far as to add "squander".

    For the benefit of, housingplus | 11/03/2013 9:45 am, I comment from experience of two HA's to which I would use your comment "staggeringly inept" as appropriate.

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  • Melvin Bone

    '.Three quarters of tenants who will be affected by the bedroom tax would refuse to move'
    That says it all really. It seems they are quite happy to pay any extra rent due rather than move.

    So we only need to worry about 25% of the tenants now.

    #itsnotatax

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  • "Of the Aspire tenants who do not intend to simply put up with the penalty...73 asked for help finding work, and six said they were thinking about taking in a lodger."

    I'm not in any way suggesting that the Conservative's hard line on benefit seekers is correct but the above seems to suggest that 73 of the 560 tenants (13%) asked would try and find employment as a solution to their reduced benefits. Added on to 379 who would "put up" with the reduction in housing benefit rather than move home seems to suggest that on the whole this would work as a cost saving exercise for our economy.

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  • My own Housing Association has been as useful as a chocolate teapot in trying to resist these 'reforms'. The intrusion into family life and individual human rights is quite appalling and indicative of following ideology without proportionality. Already we are hearing that the effects and unintended consequences are going to cost more public money due to people moving into smaller homes with higher rent! Lord Freud, who 'masterminded' all this is inept beyond measure!

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  • Frogman

    Lets not forget that this 'bedroom tax' is only the same as Labours introduction when in power to calculate housing benefit to those using the private rented sector to the number of rooms used.

    Don't blame the HA's they are the ones that will have to explain to their tenants why repairs etc are not getting completed due to loss of rent revenue if tenants don't pay the 'bedroom tax'

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