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update on Bedroom Tax

Apparently lbbd are going to have a meeting on Bedroom Tax, information going around so far is that any council tenant with a spare bedroom will be charged £17.50 per room, don't know if this is true but if so will affect a lot of elderly people who have lived in their house for years and unfortunately now been left on their own. What will they do if they can't pay?


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Phew thought you meant something else.Seems a good idea and pretty reasonable with so many homeless public subsidised housing must be used to full capacity.
Hopefully they will offer smaller homes to those with spare rooms.
carol s
The bedroom tax will not apply to anyone over 61, so the elderly are able to stay in their homes..
carol s
It is not exactly a charge, but anyone on housing benefit will have their benefit reduced by £17.50 for one spare room or £30 for two spare rooms, and more for 3 spare and so on.Anyone paying full rent will not be affected. It will affect me as I have a three bedroom house in Dagenham, with one spare room, so I will either lose some of my housing benefit, or have to move to a two bedroom house...I am considering the option of moving.
carol s
I have already had the letter, i will apply form April this year
Dee S
I have a 2 bed house and both are occupied I would love a spare room to put all my junk in.
Seriously though I wonder what the next scheme will be to get more money from the good citizens of B&D ?
Steve H
Not about making money it's about getting selfish people in huge houses alone to pay for the pleasure I think that's not good enough bring a law in which makes it illegal to live in a house which has more bedrooms than you need and as for the elderly I'm afraid due to ageism laws that should include them. Please feel free to comment on this but be mature and no abuse please.
Indeed where my father lives there are dozens or hundreds of old people in three and four bedroom council houses living alone and getting reduced council tax as well as benefits.
It makes no sense they are cold they are lonely and can not cope with the gardens or the house.
However contacting the council gets no response.I asked if I could get my father in sheltered or warden flat in exchange for letting them rent out his four bedroomed house and was told no chance at all.
Pam D
This is actually a government initiative, not just local authority.

It is dreadful to force people who have lived all their lives in a home that is now too big.  There have been cases though of people asking to downsize through the council and the council not helping at all.

Where will all this end though?  We're having more and more people coming into our borough and it is already very overcrowded; it has to stop while we try and deal with the people that are here.
Barbara N
thanks for that info Carol. I agree Pam a neighbour went to council and asked to downsize from 3 to 2 bed and she finally got one after 18months, but another was told to look for an erxchange. Steve see if you feel the same when you are old as ixion says there are not enough smaller houses anyway, almost every empty council house near me has gone to an ethnic minority family.
Barbara N
as a matter of interest Steve do you live in a council House?
carol s
It does seem to be mostly the old people occupying extra large houses on their own...61 is not too old to move into a smaller place...maybe some older people would love the opportunity to move into something smaller , warmer and cosier, as long it is is considered better for the older person...If someone has lived in a house for many years and raised a family and spent all their money on upkeeping a council house, they should be given an incentive to downsize.
as regards to bedroom tax  and council tax and housing benefit what about those people who do not claim benefit ether council tax or housing  that do live in a council house which is to big for them  how are the government going to penalizes them i no of a laddie who lives in a three bed house who is not claiming benefits  at all and works all day five days a week all her children have left home Thar must people like her up and down the country if you ask me this smacks of favoritism and victimization thar must be a smart lawyer who could take this to the court of humen rights in Strasbourg it whould be interesting to see the outcome
Matthew G
Derek the whole point of this is that people who are living in council houses and receiving housing benefit will see their benefits reduced.  

If the tenant isn't receiving benefits but is just paying the rent from their income then they have nothing to fear and won't be affected.
so  its all about cutting down on wellfair not freeing council houses
Matthew G
Both, I guess.  It's about the government not paying for someone to live in a 3 bedroomed house if they don't need all the bedrooms.  Some tenants will choose to contribute themselves (to cover the reduction in benefits) and others will downsize.  Both seem very fair to me.
Dawn S
I've heard that if you've a partner and have a two bed house, then you're ok as you're entitled to a bedroom each.

Does anyone know if this new tax is based on just bedrooms or tenancy agreement numbers? (Eg. If you live in a two bed parlour type house, then the maximum occupancy is seven as the dining room could be used as a bedroom)
Daisy D
It's not the government paying the benefit, it's us! We are paying it from our Tax's
Steve H
Yes Barbara I do live in a council house and was in a 3 Bedroom House until last year when I asked the council if I could downgrade guess what I'm now in a 2 bedroom House the council was fantastic so what's your point so where is all this leading to.
Barbara M
As a student I privately rented rooms in a shared house. Is this allowed nowadays in council property? It certainly was not possible in the past. But what changes are there that could help folks to stay in their long lived-in homes?
Derry S
Steven I could not begin to think of moving an elderly person from their home to be honest,unless they wanted to move.The elderly people have lived in these houses for years,and their surroundings are familiar to them and so are their neighbours. Imagine how Isolated and frightened they would feel. We have to look at the human factor in all of this instead of the practical in this case.

Its not right that our elderly have to move out of their homes,due to this borough being over crowded because Councils neglect to think of the people who are already here,and have lived here for years.
Matthew G
Yes Derry I quite agree with you, and so do the government, which is why is why these rules only apply to people who are 61 or younger.
carol s
I know someone in Chesterfield, and they have had a policy where everyone has to downsize if they are in a place too big for them, whether they receive housing benefit or pay full rent, a lot of the elderly get moved to bungalows or sheltered housing, so these changes wont affect them so much as they are used to the system already.

But here in Dagenham, it will only affect those on housing benefit, which proves it is more about spending cuts that freeing up houses, otherwise people paying full rent and under occupying would have to move as well, so this only affects those on very low incomes really as they know it will be a struggle to find the extra rent money.
Matthew G
carol what you say doesn't really make any sense at all.

Council tenancies are either secure or flexible tenancies (secure ones last for life, flexible ones have a fixed term).  The council legally cannot force you to move out in either case unless you break the terms of the tenancy.  So as long as you pay your rent, don't cause a disturbance, don't get convicted of crimes, etc etc you cannot be made to give up your property if you don't want to.

So anyone who pays the council the due rent every month is perfectly secure, just as they always have been.

The only change that is proposed is that people who receive housing benefit to help them with their rent, and who are below statutory retirement age, receive a reduced amount of benefit if their house is judged to be larger than they need (i.e. if it has spare bedrooms).

But again, if the tenant continues to pay the full rent (by covering the reduction in housing benefit by some other means) then they are still completely secure.

To reiterate: the only way you can be forced to move is if you breach the terms of your tenancy.

And finally this is a nationwide policy - it applies all over the UK, with exactly the same rules.  There's nothing specific to Dagenham about it!
Kate L
The problem is that this new tax is really unjust. If you are in receipt of Housing benefit it follows that you cannot afford to pay your rent. But this reduction in housing benefit is applied really badly. For instance if you have a disabled child that needs their own room (due to a special bed, space for wheel chairs etc) but you have a child similar age and same sex. It will be deemed that they cannot each have a room so you can still be charged the tax. If you use your box room (which in law is not considered big enough to rent out separately) and you use it for your junk or your disabled equipment. It will still be used for the tax.
If you only get £56 pounds a week plus your housing benefit. How are you going to find that money and feed yourself?  Welcome to the world of foodbanks. (or crime)
Colin N
Those are rather specific circumstances, Kate. I don't know what the rules are, but I'm sure there are plently of genuinely under occupied homes without any need for space for specialized equipment like you are describing. As to junk, people should get rid of it and free up the space.

"If you are in receipt of Housing benefit it follows that you cannot afford to pay your rent." Yes but HB is being reduced, so people might decide or feel constrained to rent a smaller place.

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