Around 2,400 Brent residents will be affected by controversial ‘Bedroom Tax’
PUBLISHED: 12:31 02 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:37 02 April 2013
The Times have been contacted by a number of concerned social housing tenants in the borough
Brent residents who will be hit by the controversial ‘bedroom tax’ could be exempt if they fall into a number of categories.
The Times have been contacted by a number of concerned social housing tenants who have one or spare bedrooms in their homes.
Under the changes, which came into play yesterday, anyone living in a council or housing association and claiming housing benefit will receive a reduction in their payments 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.
Households with children under the age 16 and the same gender are expected to share; children under the age of 10 are also expected to share regardless of gender.
However disabled children are allowed a room of their own and disabled adults who need a non-resident overnight carer will be allowed an extra bedroom.
An estimated 2,400 residents in Brent will be affected by the changes.
A tenant of pensionable age is exempt but if they are part of a couple and one is younger than 65 they could be hit by the tax.
Foster careers are also exempt, providing they have been approved in last 52 weeks, as are parents with ‘adult children’ serving with the Armed Forces.
Those who cannot afford the rent will be expected to downsize their property, but with a housing shortage sweeping the capital it is feared families could lose their homes or be re-housed outside London.
Last week Cllr Janice Long, Brent Council’s lead member for housing, told the Times they could not rule out evictions if affected tenants fall into rent arrears.
She said: “We haven’t got the funds to guarantee no evictions as we are one of the worst affected by benefit caps. We will do what we can but people have to want to help themselves as well.
“Evictions will be a long time in the future and we will do what we can to avoid them in the meantime.
“People will be given lots of opportunities and offered financial advice but sadly there are people who don’t want to listen – we will take each case as it comes.”
Brent Council are aiming to assist affected residents by helping them to swap properties with other tenants.
Will you be affected by the changes and efforts to downsize have proved fruitless? If so call the news desk on 020 7433 6244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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