Almost 1,700 households in Brent hit by ‘Bedroom Tax’

Members of the public protest against bedroom tax

Members of the public protest against bedroom tax - Credit: Archant

Almost 1,700 households in the borough have been hit by the controversial ‘Bedroom Tax’, according to figures released by Brent Council today.

Cllr Margaret McLennan

Cllr Margaret McLennan - Credit: Archant

Under the new measures, which come into force in April, anyone living in social housing who is in receipt of housing benefit faces a reduction in what they receive if they are deemed to have one or more spare bedrooms.

If a tenant has one spare room, their benefit is cut by 14 per cent but this is increased to 25 per cent if they have two or more.

It was initially estimated that 2,400 residents in Brent would be affected.

Brent Council is working with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Brent Housing Partnership and Jobcentre Plus to provide a range of support from benefits, housing and employment advice to money management.

It is urging residents affected by the tax to contact them urgently for help.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, Brent Council lead member for housing, said: “These cuts are hitting some of the most vulnerable households in Brent. When Britain is in the grip of one of the worst economic downturns in history it is disgraceful that the Government has pulled up the financial ladder and left families and the vulnerable to struggle and face a Victorian hand to mouth existence.

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“During these tough times Brent Council is working tirelessly to help ensure that the right help is available, at the right time and for the right people. If anyone knows of any Brent residents who have been affected by these cuts and need support, advice or assistance then it is vital that they tell them to contact the council so that we can help.”

Severely disabled children who need their own room will be exempt from bedroom tax as will families with children in the army, and foster carers.

A High Court bid by campaigners calling for disabled adults to be exempt from the tax failed last week.

Affected residents needing help should call 020 8937 1234.