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Fears over ‘spare bedroom’ tax in East Lancashire
A LACK of smaller social houses in the Ribble Valley could cause problems for tenants, a housing association has warned.
Bosses at Ribble Valley Homes say there are not enough one and two-bedroomed properties for the number of people who may be forced to move because of the new bedroom tax.
The group’s housing manager Stephen Fell said the issue would come when lots of people needed to move at the same time.
He said: “Not having enough smaller properties is an issue that we have. We also don’t have a high turnover, which means any tenant needing to move would have a long wait.
“It is one of the biggest problems everywhere, but specifically in the Ribble Valley where the majority of houses have three bedrooms.
“Those properties were adequate initially, but when people move out, they have extra bedrooms.”
Across Lancashire, analysis of Department of Work and Pensions data by the National Housing Federation estimates that 14,631 households will have their housing benefit reduced by an estimated £7.5m a year because of bedroom tax.
The government is to introduce the bedroom tax as part of its controversial changes to the benefits system.
From next April, workingage people will have their housing benefit cut if the government considers them to have a ‘spare’ bedroom in their housing association, or council home.They are set to lose 14per cent of the benefit for one ‘spare’ bedroom, and 25per cent for two, or more, ‘spare’ bedrooms.
The government’s criteria allows one bedroom for each person or couple in a household, but children under 16 of the same gender are expected to share, and children under 10 are expected to share, regardless of gender.
For more advice and information, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk
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