20/02/2012 8:32 am
With tough proposals to limit housing benefit payment for tenants who under-occupy their homes set to become law, this week we're taking a look at how the 'bedroom tax' will affect social landlords. To kick off the discussion Incommunities chief executive Geraldine Howley gives an overview of the problems the cut could cause in Bradford:
Let us know what you think of the plans, any problems they will cause in your area, and if there is anything you think social landlords should be doing to support tenants ahead of the introduction of the cuts. You can find more articles and discussion on the Focus page:
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Inside Housing staff post
22/02/2012 9:38 am
As has been quite widely reported now the latest Lords amendment to the bedroom tax, which would have exempted some vulnerable groups where smaller accommodation isn't available, was thrown out by the Commons last night.
This was widely expected, but there were some interesting points from the debate - which has been neatly summed up by Jules Birch here: http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/home/blogs/sent-back/6520571.blog
I thought Frank Field's point that this is essentially a Treasury policy that has been forced on the DWP was an interesting one from someone who should know a bit about how government policy if formulated.
23/02/2012 1:30 pm
A random telephone poll in North London has come up with something interesting. Whilst some people are considering leaving their home far more are waiting for the announcement on right-to-buy with the intention of buying their underoccupied home.
It appears that tenants have caught onto the contradiction from the government in that they are going to 'fine' tenants for having a spare room, unless they cash in their right to buy, in which case they will pay the tenants to keep their spare room. The 70% discount on flats has gone down particularly well. Although how many of those realise the implications of the lease is unclear.
23/02/2012 3:34 pm
Tents could make a come back...you could pitch a tent on the lawns you used to cut at minimal cost, until some obnoxious prat from Israel tries to tax the number of sleeping bags in a tent...
25/02/2012 7:26 pm
The only flat/apartments available in numbers for the elderly to move from if it is a small family home, and if privately owned, low value is of the type less in demand and lower priced. I see an area where the sheds and garage blocks are regulary set fire to and attended by the police and fire brigade. The lobby and stairwells are not safe and have unofficial residents living in them making it unsafe for the people living in the actual flats. The flats tend not to be well maintained and supported so lighting, vandallism and access is poor. The flats tend not to be in an area where the occupants can share open space and those that are have been created so that the area is not gated and secure for the residents. It becomes a social area for drug taking. If the design of the home to move to when downsizing took in to account secure access to the lobby area, low rise as the lifts are never maintained and the elderly cannot manage the stairs and a secure open space for the residents then it is likely that many would like to move.
The housing crisis is not caused by the elderly not downsizing wholly either and the finger of blame should not be pointed at them in such an uncaring way. After all, they have been taxpayers for many years supporting the nurture of the generations that have followed and many are still working for a wage and also full time voluntarily.
There are over two million properties occupied by lone parents in the UK which means that the corresponding parent is also living singly. Making two homes per family. This is a change in demand in housing that is impacting supply also.
12/03/2012 4:37 pm
i live in a small town with large estates , and what amazes me is the so called "bedroom tax" only hits those that are low if not zero income , we seem to have a sociaty today that says if you are stuck in a rut we will kick you hard and make sure you are jammed right in it , what has happened to the world , i know we have a lot of benefit people in to large a property but arnt we forgeting we also have a very large number of working people who are also in far to big a property for there needs ,, and yep i expect the words " well if you work and pay you shpuld be able to live where and how you want 2" but come on folks get real ,, we will not shorten the list of the properties needed by penalizeing the poor ,,we should also be looking at those who occupy more space than is needed weather they are working or not , how manny of you ha workers out there are living in social houseing with extra bedrooms and still go to work saying " i dont know what we can do , weve got 200 aplicants for 3 bedroom places and only 100 voids ,,, er hum is that includeing youre 3 bed semi detached that youve decided even if you can afford it you would like to see a family of 5 have it ,NO I DOUBT THAT TOTALLY
15/03/2012 1:01 pm
ain't that the truth :(
15/03/2012 3:38 pm
From the work we have done with our tenants, the impact of the changes to HB will be varied depending on circumstances.
For families with children but still classed as under occupying, most will choose to find the £9-£10 per week (in our area) to make up the shortfall. Whilst on low incomes, these families have some capacity to pay their rent, even though doing so will mean less money for other essentials.
The hardest hit will be single claimants on IS or JSA (£67.50pw), there is no prospect of them being able to pay an 11% shortfall, never mind 23% if they underoccupy by two bedrooms. This without them having to pay c.20% of their council tax as well. Tenants in this group will have to make major changes, whether moving home or taking in family/friends to reduce the underoccupation and help pay the bills.
31/07/2012 8:38 pm
if its not touching the over 65 then how will the HA know if they have older people in 3 bed homes on there own as some pensioners pay full rent as they worked and have a works pension as well as old age one and pension credit and if on there own in a large council house and they are exempt but disabled in a two bed as a one bed to small for wheekchairs and othe equipment have to pay for spair room if they dont have night care
13/08/2012 6:12 pm
please come and see our group we are informing people with the ocrrect information and advice to many people have been given wrong info even from their HAs councils we want as many people to be given 100% pure facts forearmed is forewarned this is our group PLEASE NOTE WE ARE NOT TRYING TO WASTE TIME BY FIGHTING ONLY ADVISE AND INFORM PEOPLE. http://www.facebook.com/groups/btukhomeswapnetwork/
17/08/2012 6:25 pm
Any body know which areas of the country are worst affected by this policy.I mean where will one bed units be most in demand by those in under occupied social housing.Just curious,is it a regional thing,north south etc,or it doesn't really have an specific affect?
02/03/2013 11:36 pm
i have lived in a 3 bedroom house since 1998, i brought my son up in it, then he went off to university, i don't want to move but i have no choice because of the bedrom tax. i have been on homeswapper for 2 years and very few people want to move because they do not want to leave their families, jobs, friends, to move to another area where they do not know anyone or have a job lined up which i can understand. i recieved my official housing benefit notice today stating how much i will have to pay it works out to 30 pounds a week cos my rent is 117.00. going back to these house exchange companies like homeswapper, house exchange, they do not work. im also on 3 council waiting lists and have been given 2 bronze banding, and an emergency banding in my local area where i only want to move to as a last resort. there has been nothing of any use on them for 4 weeks, and i was told by one of them that they were not housing my pets. the accomodation was meant for us so they want me to give up my pets which i had before i had to give up my job a year ago due to ill health. the government are living in dreamland if they think that they can get people to move from one part of the country to another cos their ideas are just not feasible.
03/03/2013 7:49 am
Apply for a discretionary housing payment (DHP). The Government are pretending that DHPs are only for those with adaptations; they're not, anyone can apply. Make sure you account for all your outgoings in the application. If you don't get one just pay what you can afford, however small. Most social landlords use Ground 8 which means you have to have 8 weeks of arrears before they'll start possession proceedings. If you pay a small amount it will still take ages to get to the equivalent of 8 full weeks arrears. This is all new territory for landlords anyway; most will be reluctant to act against a long-standing tenant hit by the bedroom tax. Sit tight; this is being fought on all fronts now, including legally. I was on homeswapper too but came off it as it was just making me more stressed, realising that there was nothing available, and I'm in the same boat having to find over £30 quid a week. I've decided to forget even thinking about moving, and am staying put and fighting and campaigning instead; believe me, this can be overturned.
24/03/2013 11:10 pm
i have posted a question in ask the experts regarding this subject, now can you comment that those still underoccupying with to mutually exchange to a new area and new job still be able to underoccypy even if the have fulltime new job and hence wont claim benefit, thsu the bedroom tax wont affect them, im having huge arguement with my housing association as the say they want to means test folk i want to exchange with eg do they work or are the unemployed with aq child for my 2 bed.
i have advertised for a 2 bed swap as most folk have a kid which my landord would love as a tennant, but will the new landlord except me an a worker not claiming to a 2 bed.
my landlord said find a 1 bed flat in the area where your new job is and make sure that it belongs to single parent on the dole with a kid, cos it would be a perfect swap.
I said ahem the one extra room rule still stands in law and if you work then there is also no bedroom tax shortfall, 30 mins arguing on phone, still got answer put in paperwork and see how it goes. does my arguement hold water, can i insist on the one extra bedroom rule via a mutual exchange if neither party will be subject to bedroom tax, eg i work, dont claim and vice versa or other party has kid and gets full benfit to do a 2 bed swap to another 2 bed, as these swaps are plentifull
26/03/2013 10:50 pm
A couple of weeks ago I had to look at availability in London of private rented properties for a rough report, using several landlords.
We established that there were approx. 83.5k properties available, of which 22.8k were one bed properties.
Not a bad number, you might think, except that if you filtered those that were charging more than the 1 bed cap (including a generous £40pw for discretionary funds), this brought the number down to 7.8k properties, less than 8.7% of the total stock available in the whole of London.
This highlights the lack of affordable 1 bed properties that can be paid for by HB in London alone.
04/05/2013 5:58 pm
Those crazy politics means that hundred of thousands of single room homes will be built or created. They will naturally become obsolete in the future as residents expectations rise. They will be the empty properties of the future unless there is a consistant government plan in place to continue turning the UK into a third world economy.
04/05/2013 10:33 pm
So if a bedroom flat is so small that one cannot even swing a cat - will the tenant be allowed to claim a weekly compensation for it not being exactly a one bedroom flat but a half=-bedroom flat?... surely if tenants have to pay extra for an extra bedroom, they should equally be able to claim an extra weekly allowance of housing benefit if they only live in a half-bedroom flat. Looking forward to a legal challenge to have the half-bedroom flat recognised as half-bedroom flats and not as one-bedroom flats only because they have self-contained kitchen and toilet.