To think this is a cruel policy, and not an actual 'tax'?

(313 Posts)
katykuns Fri 25-Jan-13 23:11:08

www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/25/spare-bedroom-tax-contradiction-impossibility?CMP=NECNETTXT766

I just think its unrealistic, and completely ignores reality that it is not just easy to drop everything and move. It is also very unfair to the disabled.

Why can they not target the damn landlords charging extortionate rents?

It is not directly affecting me, but I do claim housing benefit and I work, and life is hard. I just feel like it makes it impossible to live with a 14-25% cut of your benefit.

Its not a tax, its a benefit cut. Say it as it is hmm... just another attempt to make people struggling to get by struggle even more!

edam Fri 25-Jan-13 23:14:36

It's stupid and cruel. Ministers are so determined to bash the poor that they quite knowingly and deliberately took out amendments that would have exempted foster parents from the cut. Even though it's a requirement that foster children MUST have their own room. So if you are between foster children, you will be penalised for having a spare bedroom ready for your next placement. Ludicrous. The government knows it is ludicrous. The government knows there is a desperate shortage of foster parents. But they insisted on doing this anyway. And that's just one example, I bet there are plenty of others.

katykuns Fri 25-Jan-13 23:21:13

That is a very good point edam... and with foster carers being encouraged to stay at home rather than work, due to possible difficulties etc... it must make them feel that much more trapped.

And what difference will it make overall? How much money are they going to have to spend hiring more staff to assist putting this 'tax' in place?

edam Fri 25-Jan-13 23:26:36

I doubt it will save much money. Disruption costs money. Even disruption that eventually saves money usually costs in the short term. I think they've done it for ideological reasons, or merely so they look as if they are doing something.

Because they don't want to actually sort out the dysfunctional housing market (both rented and for sale), it's easier to bash the vulnerable and make it look as if you are taking action.

PrettyKitty1986 Fri 25-Jan-13 23:31:10

I have to be honest, but I agree with it. Some people do take the piss with the size houses they have. A single neighbour of my mothers has a three bed...a couple with one child that live a few doors down also have a three bed. It's unnecessary. Yes, those are touching stories etc...but the family do not need a bedroom each for their kids. Not does the single guy need a 'studio' hmm

Chrestomanci Fri 25-Jan-13 23:37:19

But the biggest group of people who under occupy are OAPs who are - guess what - exempt from the bedroom tax. Not that I think that OAPs should be forced to move either, but ime they are often keen to move when there are suitable properties, like 2 bedroom bungalows, but of course building those costs money.

katykuns Fri 25-Jan-13 23:38:10

Yes but PrettyKitty, its not so much whether they 'deserve' it... and more to do with the reality of either forcing a family out or making them pay considerably more money to make their lives that bit more difficult. It just is utterly daft. A very small number of people could move, mainly because it costs a lot of money to move, but also, the man in his 2 bedroom flat would actually end up WORSE off in a 1 bedroom flat, as there are such a limited amount of them and they cost £25 more pm than the 2 bedroom!
The policy completely ignores the needs of the disabled, or as edam noted, foster carers that NEED a spare room for when they take a child in. They are doing a considerable service to the council (that usually funds most foster carers) by taking on these children needing homes, yet they will be charged 14-25% more when that room is vacant. I personally think its disgusting and incredibly poorly thought out personally.

Sunnywithshowers Fri 25-Jan-13 23:42:01

YANBU

It might be more reasonable if there were sufficient right sized homes for families / single people, and disability needs were taken into account.

shagmundfreud Fri 25-Jan-13 23:49:25

And what happens when young adult children who've moved out (to go to university or for work) have to move home because they've finished studying or no longer in work? The government has cut hb for under 25's and I think is planning to remove it altogether.

Celticlassie Sat 26-Jan-13 00:18:01

What about parents who only see their children at weekends? Will they be allowed a room? Or a room each for their children? (Older / different genders) Are parents who don't live with their kids full time not allowed to have them to stay any more?

sashh Sat 26-Jan-13 05:59:13

the man in his 2 bedroom flat would actually end up WORSE off in a 1 bedroom flat, as there are such a limited amount of them and they cost £25 more pm than the 2 bedroom!*

He won't be worse off as he will still get HB, but we will be paying more.

What about parents who only see their children at weekends? Will they be allowed a room?

No, only the parent where the child is resident.

Kitty no one is saying anyone needs a studio, we are saying why force hm to move to a smaller but more expensive property?

I've just started work again, I don't know how long I will be able to work from and when I'm not in work I only get a contribution for which I'm grateful.

I live in a property that was specifically built for people with disabilities / mobility issues.

Level access and all doors wide enough to get through in a wheel chair. This kind of property is allocated according to physical need and the housing association only built 2 bedroom accommodation.

I challenge anyone to find property local to them for rent that a wheel chair user could move into without it being adapted.

The adaptions, btw, are paid for by the council which actually means by you.

lollilou Sat 26-Jan-13 07:04:57

Is this new law only for people in social housing?

Tee2072 Sat 26-Jan-13 07:21:11

It's not a tax at all, or we'd all pay it. It's a punishment for those on benefits. Or shall I say another punishment for those on benefits?

If it was a tax then the government could make a lot off it, after all, how many people need those 6 - 10 bedroom houses we all drool over on property porn threads? Millionaires would get hit hard.

Instead they are removing yet another benefit for those who cannot afford it.

Assholes

Sunshinenow Sat 26-Jan-13 07:21:29

I think this. Is wrong too. There is ahuge shortfall of smaller properties. The government knows this.

I checked out the DWP impact statement. Two parts particularly stood out.

'In many areas this mismatch could mean that there are insufficient properties to enable tenants to move to accommodation of an appropriate size even if tenants wished to move and landlords were able to facilitate this movement. In these circumstances individuals may have to look further a field for appropriately sized accommodation or move to the private rented sector, otherwise they shall need to meet the shortfall through other means such as employment, using savings or by taking in a lodger or sub-tenant'

And in another part it was felt the only impact on tenants was removal costs! Not mentioned refurb costs. Will old furniture and white goods fit in new place? Cost of new disabled adaptations......and on. Nada.

'Claimants moving home within the social rented sector are likely to incur removal costs for moving from one property to another. The number of claimants affected would be determined by the behavioural impact of tenants and landlords to the measure. In some cases it is possible that social landlords will help facilitate the movement of tenants, or help to offset some of the costs associated with moving.'

manticlimactic Sat 26-Jan-13 07:21:42

lollilou I thought that if you were in private let then HB is only paid up to the value of the size of house you actually need? I was sure they won't pay full HB if you're in a 3bed and only need a 2. They pay proportionally.

Sunshinenow Sat 26-Jan-13 07:24:05

Here is the impact statement. I am truely appalled. It is ideological.

www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011-ia.pdf

Unless a house is 'significantly' adapted for a wheelchair user it is included. Sick and disabled people will have to pay or move.

Sunshinenow Sat 26-Jan-13 07:25:55

It covers every one. Even in private sector. Extra room = cut of 12% or 25 %

lollilou Sat 26-Jan-13 07:28:47

Thanks manti, yes that is true private lets have a cap for the size of house you need. Just checking that they weren't going to hit us in private rentals again.

JeezyOrangePips Sat 26-Jan-13 07:32:32

They don't need to include the elderly. Old people die, so over a period of a few years those houses will be let again anyway.

They are perfectly aware of this, but manage to look like they are being sympathetic to the older members of society.

Tee2072 Sat 26-Jan-13 07:47:11

If you're on housing benefit, shunshinenow. I have a 3 bed privately let house but pay for it all myself. I won't pay a tax on my extra bedroom, because it's not a tax, it's a benefit reduction.

If it was a tax, then they would send me a bill for my extra bedroom.

i have to agree, apparently under this tax sd does not qualify as needing a bedroom despite spending 4 days a week here.

Sunshinenow Sat 26-Jan-13 08:05:40

Sorry, yes affected everyone on housing benefits only.

lollilou Sat 26-Jan-13 08:07:21

Do you think this is just a revenue making scheme? Or a way of freeing up larger properties for bigger families?

diaimchlo Sat 26-Jan-13 08:09:25

As already said this is the government targeting the lower income families whether they are employed or not.

Do bear in mind that the people that are putting these cuts in place get their rent paid on their second homes at the tax payers expense as well through their expenses.... MPs have be known to sell their second homes to friends and then rented them back to enable the tax payer to cover their housing costs, is this not also a benefit??????? I would be surprised if any of these homes only have 1 bedroom. One of the main instigators of this cruel new tax Iain Duncan Smith lives rent free in a large house on his fathers estate.... do I need to say more????? It is definitely 1 law for the rich and another for the poor.

OK rant over!

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Sat 26-Jan-13 08:13:22

Hmmm the execution is clumsy but we live on a street of lovely, big, solid 3 bed local authority houses, built in the 1920s as family homes with huge gardens. All of the ones still on local authority ownership have one or in a handful two old people living in them. The gardens are wild and unused. Those that have been sold off all have families in them and when one comes on the market they're snapped up within weeks

It's a wicked waste when families are either crammed into smaller houses or unable to get one at all

MillieMummy Sat 26-Jan-13 08:14:04

The 'tax' ( it isn't really a tax it's a reduction in housing benefit) applies to people in social housing only if they are of working age.

If you are affected:
Get a benefit assessment to see if there are benefits you should be claiming which will exempt you from the bedroom tax.

See if your LA or HA have any incentive shcemes to assist you to move to smaller accommodation - some pay removal costs or a grant.

You can apply for discresionary housing benefit to make up the shortfall.

MillieMummy Sat 26-Jan-13 08:14:48

Also foster carers will get discresionary HB - talk to your LA.

revenue, most people in our situation won't move. as we need the room for stepchildren so will just take the cut. only get partial so won't be a huge amount but enough for us to notice it

NeverBeenToMe Sat 26-Jan-13 08:15:58

waitingforastar if your sd is with you for 4 days a week, why isnt your home classed as her main residence?

lulabelleg Sat 26-Jan-13 08:16:17

It is only for those in social housing. Those on HB in private rent receive an allowance for how many rooms they need based on hosuehold size, this is not changing. In my borough though I believe this can vary you could be a 3 bed need in a private rented property that has 10 bedrooms and as long as it is within the 3 bed LHA rate it will be paid (obviusly this is unlikely, mostly happens the other way that you might find a 2 bed house for 3 bed rate). The new rule is designed to make people give up HA or council larger properties that are underoccupied by then by making them pay per room that they underoccupy by reducing the HB payable.

she sleeps here 3 days and at her mums four so that is classed as her primary residence

Sunshinenow Sat 26-Jan-13 08:24:03

Ah my mistake. I see now it is only for social tenants on housing benefit.

Whilst I think the idea to release houses that are excessive for need is ok. It is the execution I think is harsh. There is a huge shortage on 1 bed properties (historically just as cheap to build a small 2 bed for councils).

If people had somewhere to go it would be better. And it took account of disabled people.

PackItInNow Sat 26-Jan-13 08:29:20

What way does it work for a family of 4 with 2 DC of different gender? I know in NI that the DC have share a room until they're 10yo, but I'd like to know if this still applies if the female child has started her period at 9yo?

ediblewoman Sat 26-Jan-13 08:32:04

I work in homelessness and this policy is one of a number of reasons I am seriously considering taking redundancy. We can't really afford for me to but I am so miserable at the way things are going and all I can see is it getting worse.

the rules allow one bedroom for ever adult couple, any other adult aged 16 or over. any two children of same sec under 16, any two children under 10, any other child whose main home is elsewhere other than a foster child and a carer who doesn't live but spends the night to provide care.

lollilou Sat 26-Jan-13 08:47:08

So if it doesn't include pensioners then it is just another shitty tax on the poor. What I mean by that is that people over retirement age will be the ones most likely living in under occupied social housing.

NynaevesSister Sat 26-Jan-13 08:53:46

No it doesn't work that way in private sector. You won't be able to get a 10 bed house if it is same price as 3 bed. The housing officer will tell you that as those unused rooms can be rented they will deduct the amount of rent you could get from your HB. This prevented a couple I know from moving into a three bed house as HB said they only needed two beds and deducted it from the overall rent. No lodger wants to live in a house with toddler and twin newborns! They got a three bed council place but as children are under 10 and his hours have been reduced they don't know what they will do this year. They would move happily if council had a place but they don't. And rents around here are astronomical. It is going to end up costing us the taxpayers more to house them and it will drive up rents even more. It feels like a big win for the private landlord market.

threesocksmorgan Sat 26-Jan-13 08:57:11

one thing I noticed is that no allowance is made for disabled people who need carers. so you can 't have a bedroom for a carer, even though you need one.....
so what does a disabled person who needs round the clock care do?

the letter i received states a bedroom is allowable for a carer who does not live with you but provides overnight care for you or your partner

ShellyBoobs Sat 26-Jan-13 09:08:22

*8.
A bedroom for a non-resident carer will also be taken into account in determining the relevant size criteria where they provide overnight care for the claimant or their partner.*

From the DWP link Sunshine posted.

the rules allow one bedroom for ever adult couple, any other adult aged 16 or over. any two children of same sec under 16, any two children under 10, any other child whose main home is elsewhere other than a foster child and a carer who doesn't live but spends the night to provide care.

This is what confuses me as in the frequently asked quest it says that sc it depends who has parental responsibility dependant on who claims child benefit for them. but then what other child whose main home is elsewhere would qualify for a room if they dont :s

ErikNorseman Sat 26-Jan-13 09:55:13

The man with the two bed said he had asked for a transfer to a smaller flat but they didn't exist. Plus his HB wouldn't cost more if he moved to private rental because he wouldn't be entitled to a one bed flat until he was 35. I don't think anyone should be forced to move from a secure tenancy to a shitty 6 month private rental tenancy.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 26-Jan-13 09:55:50

I agree with the principle of this policy, it's just the reality of putting it into practice that's the problem!

I agree that we shouldn't be paying out housing benefit for people to have rooms that they don't need, but many disabled people need a spare room for a carer, or even just for their spouse in some cases. Foster carers need rooms available for children to have their own room, because that's the rule. So obviously, it very very wrong that they should be affected.

In cases where families have three or four children in three or four bedroomed houses, or where single people or couples have two bedroom flats, it's completely fair enough. Families with three or more children chose to have those children knowing that their choice was going to lead to a lot of expense, single people have the option of renting a room in a house share or being a lodger, and couples have two opportunities to have a wage coming in. I don't think we should be paying for people in those situations to have spare rooms that they don't need.

ErikNorseman Sat 26-Jan-13 09:58:47

Nynaevessister (good name) that's not right - in private rent you get the flat rate according to need and if you choose to rent a bigger/more expensive house you pay the extra yourself. If you found a 4 bed for eg that was the rate of a 3 bed you could rent it. (Though that's fairly unlikely)

edam Sat 26-Jan-13 10:59:55

Very good point about the MPs who make this decision having their rent paid for them. Hypocrites.

Some people who are ill and disabled need their own room, even if they are married or in a partnership, but the new system only allows one room for a couple. They may have extensive equipment and need their own bed, and the room may not be big enough for two. What happens to them?

If the government genuinely wanted to make family-sized social housing available for families, they would build more social housing. They would set up an allocation system that worked fairly and gradually, rather than have a big bang that punishes people. They would offer assistance to those affected by the policy. Focus on housing, not on punishing people who aren't in charge of the social housing stock and aren't in charge of housebuilding. They would fund the costs of moving - which are far more extensive than removal van.

But, as usually, it's bash the poor and attack the victims, not deal with the causes that are completely out of the control of those affected.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 26-Jan-13 11:48:31

That story only tells part of the picture - nowhere does it mention that the family would be able to claim tax credits, DLA and carers allowance for the child with autism which amount to around £10,000 a year. They may loose out on the HB if they choose to stay in the large house but they are not as hard up as that story makes it look.

adviceandassistance Sat 26-Jan-13 12:00:28

As a stepparent with shared access we stand to lose £60 a month which is a pretty big amount for us right now. I know lots of other peoples losses will be higher. I wouldnt begrudge this amount if it was a spare room that we didnt need but we do. I am sure access would be stopped if we moved to a 2 bed and said sd would need to sleep on the sofa without her own room for half of each week. rock and a hard place!

threesocksmorgan Sat 26-Jan-13 12:04:01

Waitingforastartofall mine didn't

CloudsAndTrees Sat 26-Jan-13 12:25:24

My children sleep on a pull out bed on the floor in the same room as their dad when they stay with him, which is usually 5/6 nights a month, and longer during the holidays. It's really not a problem, they have a room to themselves in my home which is all they need. It does them no harm at all, so I don't see the problem. Neither of us claim any form of benefit including tax credits, so while it would be great if they had a separate room to sleep in at their Dads, as their parents we just can't afford to give them rooms in two homes.

adviceandassistance Sat 26-Jan-13 12:29:51

My stepchildren stay twelve to fifteen nights a month, I don't think it would be appropriate for sd to sleep on a campbed or sofa then go to school. The living room would be the only available space for a campbed. I also know if this was the case her mother wouldnt let her stay and I can see why

katykuns Sat 26-Jan-13 12:59:28

If the government genuinely wanted to make family-sized social housing available for families, they would build more social housing. They would set up an allocation system that worked fairly and gradually, rather than have a big bang that punishes people. They would offer assistance to those affected by the policy.

Exactly.

It is a complete attack, and its such a poorly executed one, it makes me want to cry! What is the point in enforcing such a policy, when there isn't even the properties for them to down size to? What money is this really going to save when, in the article, the benefits adviser said about how they would be hiring more staff to implement it? They are just taking money away cruelly from people that will go to salaries of new advisers!

ediblewoman I hope if you do opt for redundancy, that you can find a job that is more positively rewarding.

katykuns Sat 26-Jan-13 13:02:46

I also think its pretty inappropriate to make your stepchildren sleep on the floor/camp beds in the space where the parent is. What happens when the children get older and find the idea of sharing with their Mum/Dad uncomfortable? Or what happens when the parent has a live-in partner? Not very appropriate surely?

adviceandassistance Sat 26-Jan-13 13:19:39

My sd is eleven , there is no way she could sleep on a camp bed comfortably bor would she sleep in our room. She could not share with two younger boys so that leaves the living room which hardly seems fair that she has no personal space. This is why we will be taking the cut without considering moving

CloudsAndTrees Sat 26-Jan-13 13:43:47

My sons are 10 and 12 and would be fine on camp beds. They'd have to be. In fact they will have to be as oldest ds is getting too big to sleep on the pull out bed now, and his Dad is planning on a camp bed soon.

Like you have no option but to accept the cut without moving, we have no option but to use camp beds and pull out beds. It's either that, or they don't get to stay with their Dad. It isn't for as much as half of the week, but there have been times when they have stayed there for a week during the school term,many I don't really see the big deal. What's the worst that could happen, really?

Katykuns, it's not a perfect situation, no, but whether it's appropriate or not doesn't really matter. We don't claim benefits and still cant afford it any other way, there is no choice. So what do you suggest? Other people should have to pay more tax so that my children can have two bedrooms each because me and their Dad split up? No, they are our responsibility. Apart from maybe a little discomfort at sharing a room with a parent, it's not really that much of a hardship.

If those of us that don't claim benefits because we are only just over the cut off to be eligible, and in some cases worse off financially than those on benefits, then I don't see why everyone can't manage.

As I've already said, I very much disagree with the fact that this will affect people with disabilities, their carers, and foster carers, but the rest of us should have no problem.

meddie Sat 26-Jan-13 13:44:59

Surely this is more likely to encourage people to produce more kids to fill the rooms? I know if I was a long term benefit claimant that would be the lines I would thinking along. Just as currently some specifically space the kids every 4 years so as not to be forced back into work once they hit 5.
This will surely disproportionately effect low income working families, families where parents share custody, and those who rely on HB to subsidise their poor wages, more than it will effect long term unemployed.

adviceandassistance Sat 26-Jan-13 13:49:54

We are all those things meddie and it certainly seems so. Ss has additional needs which won't be counted he shares a bedroom but there is no way he could sleep in living room or our room there would be too many distractions he just would not settle. It just seems an awful way to go about things and ultimately could keep a lot of children from their other parent if they were not willing to take the cut and moved to smaller properties

soverylucky Sat 26-Jan-13 14:20:07

There are far too many children living in b and b accomadation waiting for a suitable home. Social housing imo should not be seen as something for life but to help you get a start in life. I know it must be upsetting for people to move from houses they love but people in the private rental sector have to face this prospect all the time. You are in need - you deserve a council house. If and when you are in a position to rent privately or buy or move to a smaller property I think you should.

I shared a room for 18 years. Up to the age of about 5 I shared a bed.

edam Sat 26-Jan-13 14:50:28

sovery, council housing was never intended to be short-term. It was created as decent housing for ordinary people - after WW2 people wanted to build a decent country where everyone had a roof over their head and reasonable accommodation. They didn't want to go back to the slums or the cruelty of the 30s.

Frequent moves, the knowledge that you can never put down roots, are bad for people and bad for communities. Disruption costs individuals and society.

We have a housing crisis in this country, caused partly by a dysfunctional housing market that is causing misery for anyone not lucky enough to have bought a house decades ago - and even for some people who did. It needs sorting out. This is not the answer, it is just making things worse.

PurityBrown Sat 26-Jan-13 15:05:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lonelybunny Sat 26-Jan-13 17:21:41

It's unfair and they are targeting the wrong people . We don't get housing benefit but we are one room over because we couldn't find a 3 bed and the single man we found to swap didnt want a 4 but if we're taxed we'd be starving ! We can only just afford everything as it is . After all bills and shopping and rent we are left with £10 till next pay day. There are also not enough smaller properties to move into! Even people private renting are finding it hard to find a home as there aren't enough ! This island is sinking we can't cope with demand

Rockchick1984 Sat 26-Jan-13 19:17:58

Lonelybunny if you don't receive housing benefit you won't lose anything, it's a percentage of housing benefit.

If someone is in private rent they only receive housing benefit for the number of rooms they require, this is bringing social housing in line with that.

Plenty of people own their houses and can't afford to move to a larger house to accommodate things like stepchildren having their own room, and it is frustrating to see people getting so high and mighty about things they think they should get for free, when others get no help!

I know people (myself included) who are in social housing and get no housing benefit - I would happily do a homeswap with someone who needed to downsize due to their benefits being cut, and I would just pay the higher rent. There's far more 2 bed properties where I live than 3 bed, so overall I feel this would balance out.

The only place I see a massive issue is for people needing 1 bed properties as there's not a lot of them around, however having seen my friend stuck in a 1 bed upstairs flat with her husband and her 2 children as no one wanted to swap for a 1 bed, this also seems grossly unfair!

If someone needs overnight care or has other extenuating circumstances they can apply to their local council for a discretionary top-up on their rent. Most people will simply have to either find the extra money or move.

Callycat Sat 26-Jan-13 19:55:20

I think another issue is that affected people are expected to simply look to the private sector for a smaller home - overlooking the fact that it's all but impossible to find a private landlord who will accept benefit claimants.

Lonelybunny Sat 26-Jan-13 20:29:00

I agree to a certain extent especially those who have never worked and have all their rent paid for them when they have rooms they do not need. It's an unfair system . However it's those on poorly paid wages like us who cannot even dream of affording a deposit on a studio flat , yet may need a little help from benefits to top up their earnings will get hit hardest . I think those in social housing and on benefits need to take a mindset as those whom own and except that of they increase their family size they have to pay the consequences . We were very very lucky to get a swap and it's unfair their is not affordable housing for all however I think this tax will only make people harder up and really struggle yes we are exempt for now but what's no to say they will roll it out to full rent payers too?

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 26-Jan-13 20:45:57

That story only tells part of the picture - nowhere does it mention that the family would be able to claim tax credits, DLA and carers allowance for the child with autism which amount to around £10,000 a year. They may loose out on the HB if they choose to stay in the large house but they are not as hard up as that story makes it look.

DLA is rarely paid at higher rate for a child with ASD its more normal to get lower rate. You can only get CA if the DLA (care)gets paid at middle or higher rate not if lower rate is awarded. CA s also not payable if you earn over £100 pound a week and tax credits include it as income and deduct it from your TC award it can also not be paid if you are in receipt of many other benefits.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 26-Jan-13 20:50:26

It won't be rolled out to full rent payers because its not a tax. It has been called that by the media, but that's not what it is. It's a reduction in housing benefit so that only what is needed to house the people claiming is paid, and extra that is not needed will not be paid.

expatinscotland Sat 26-Jan-13 20:51:27

It's cruel because it won't work. OAPs are exempt, and they're not dying fast enough to make the homes available.

Those who are elsewise under-occupying will need to stump up because a) best of luck finding a private landlord who will take HB and kids b) with the LHA caps, it's still cheaper to suck up the rent than move to private let c) no one wants to give up an assured tenancy for the BS 6 months crap ou get in private lets.

But the problems with private letting won't be addressed.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 26-Jan-13 22:16:28

meddie

How come people are spreading kids out every 4 years? It was only a couple of years ago that they changed the benefit switch over rules from age 11 to age 7 it only became 5 very recently

So did these people you know popping out a kid every 4 years to stop the benefit switch over have crystal balls, seen as they haven't had enough years since the age change to pop out one every 4 years?

KoalaTale Sat 26-Jan-13 22:25:17

Yabu. Social housing should be allocated properly to those who need it most. It's very unfair to take a house with more bedrooms than you need when there are families needing it more. Why should the government build more houses just so you can have an extra bedroom?

I don't have a spare bedroom in private housing, in fact it's very cramped. But I understand that there's a recession and if I want a bigger house I'll have to earn more money to pay for it, it isn't up to the government to sort out spare rooms for me!

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 00:19:55

Koala the houses are allocated with family size considered. You don't just get to say "oh I fancy a xyz room one" if you are not entitled to that amount of rooms.

However lots of people are in 3 beds where 2 are needed due to a lack of smaller houses or a medical need for an additional room. The reasons for allocating these houses are now being disregarded by the same org that allocated them in the first place.

I think cloudsandtrees makes an excellent point about how those not in receipt of housing benefit just have to manage.

Also, although this is clearly going to be unfair to many people, it will hopefully relieve some overcrowding- and what is worse, a family of 5 stuck in a one bed with no privacy for anyone, or a child with separated parents only having their own bedroom in one home? Harsh for the second child, I agree, but overall fairer.

Please please tell foster carers that they can apply for an alteration as this does not seem to be well known.

Originally we would of been allocated to atwo bedroom but were told that the waiting list here is up to 4 and 7 years for 2 bed as there is a shortage and due to stepchildren staying shared access offered a three so I suppose my questions would be that if there is no 2 bedroom properties then there is no option to downsize so its effectively just a benefit cut so why not just call it that . If we could private rent I would but the initial moving in costs would be too high

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 09:38:20

My friend is in a 2 bed flat. She is currently unemployed. She has got to find another £16 a week out of her £71 a week JSA to cover this reduction in benefit. This leaves her with £55 a week to live on, travel to interviews and find work, pay all her bills.
There are not enough 1 bed properties for the people who are now going to need them.
Even if one were to be found, she, like many many others can't afford to move.
She told me she doesn't even have anything left to sell to raise the funds to move or cover the reduction in benefit.

To the poster who said the elderly will die in a few years, and therefore free up their property for a family, it's more than a few years inany cases. My mother is a pensioner on double the amount of income my friend is on, and my mother is 61. She could be expected to live for at least another 20 years.
A pensioner couple living a few doors away from me live in a large 4 bedrooms house. They have been asked to swap numerous times and have declined. They have been pensioners for the last 20 years and are still going strong.
For the posters who believe that pensioners will vacate properties that are too large in a few years time, I have to disagree, 20+ years is more than a few years to me. It is a whole new generation of people in time terms.

I will stop having a problem with this issue when we are truly all in it together, the MP's, pensioners, and the poor.
As it stands, this affects the poor and the disabled. It's a fucking disgrace!!

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 09:46:52

So because private renting is such shite - expensive, insecure - the solution is to punish the poor in social housing rather than put pressure on the government to make things fairer for all tenants?

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 09:53:41

Why just tenants? Why not make it fair for everyone, including homeowners who have to manage with what they have when they have more children than they can afford or have the space for?

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 09:56:55

Well, OutragedatpriceofFreddos the Bank of England is already doing its best by homeowners by keeping the interest rates so low. Perhaps they can force banks to relax their lending restrictions, which is a major reason why some homeowners cannot move on, but this might not be possible since many have been bailed out by us for creating a lot of this mess in the first place.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 27-Jan-13 10:01:19

The end of the article where they talk of people having more kids to fill the room, well anyone in that mindset is heading for big trouble IMO. Digging themselves into a deeper hole.

sashh Sun 27-Jan-13 10:12:24

It's very unfair to take a house with more bedrooms than you need when there are families needing it more.

In my case because the HA only built 2 bedroomed properties for people with disabilities.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 10:13:02

Some homeowners can't move on because they are in the same position as tenants, moving house is expensive. It can be too expensive for both tenants and homeowners.

A lack of spending restrictions is one of the reasons we have the problems we do now. Too many people being given mortgages that they can't afford to pay back. We need some lending restrictions to prevent the same mistakes being made again.

I can't say I agree with your argument on that tbh. It's the same as me saying 'Well, the government have already done enough by tenants by giving them the deposit protection scheme and giving them the right to stay in a property when they haven't paid rent for months'. It doesn't really wash does it? There are still tenants in horrible situations despite what has been done for them, and there are still homeowners in horrible situations despite interest rates being low.

Doesn't everyone deserve decent housing? Whether they are providing it for themselves or the council is providing it for them is irrelevant. Their children at least should be entitled to the same.

TheCalvert Sun 27-Jan-13 16:50:23

People are going to lose out whichever way the axe falls. That is life. But I do feel that under occupancy of social housing is a massive problem for those who are over occupying. IRS not fair,and at least the government are trying to address the issue.

What was the Labour lot doing about building more affordable housing stock for people on low incomes when times were good?

Unfortunately, this is not a problem which will be fixed overnight, or indeed over a year or two. Houses need to he built, but as a shorter term solution until such houses can be built, I think the government are trying to do the right thing. Whether or not that is fair or not depends largely on where you stand when the policies come into force.

The idea is good, but the practicalities seem like there is no way this is going to work.

It doesn't make sense that a 50 something couple of empty nesters have a four bedroom house for another thirty years, especially when there are young families who need the space and if there is a way to encourage them to downsize then that is good.

...But that article also pointed out problems, like the art studio guy. I don't think the gov should be paying for his art studio, but he says that there aren't subsidised 1 bedrooms available. What are you meant to do if there is no suitable accommodation to move to?

I think the disabled housing should be need assessed.

Hopeforever Sun 27-Jan-13 17:15:27

The plan has many pitfalls, however " 1.6 million children in Britain live in housing that is overcrowded, temporary, or run-down"

england.shelter.org.uk/campaigns/why_we_campaign/supporting_families_and_children

They don't have one bedroom let alone one at each parents house.

MoreBeta Sun 27-Jan-13 17:16:10

Sorry but if we are going to implement this policy we need to apply it to OAPs as well as young families.

Proves once again that the 'grey' vote always gets its way on benefits while the younger generation always pay for it.

An OAP couple only need one bedroom in a sheltered accomodation block. Much better for them in the long run Simple as that. They are overhoused in 2 - 4 or 4 bed social housing all over the country that families do need.

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 17:18:01

i still dont understand the logic of this 'tax'. i understand what they are doing. i understand the figures and what it will cost me. but what i dont understand is how it is being presented as logical and right.

e.g. lets say a 2 bed house allowance is £100/wk. a person with entitlement to a 2 bed house will only get £100/wk, regardless of what size of house they actually rent. so if they rent a 4 bed at £175/wk they will only get £100 of that in HB the rest they will have to find themselves, but this tax will now mean they get less than £100 and will have to find more of the rent themselves even though they aren't taking any more from the state than a person who is actually in a 2 bed house.

i dont understand the reasoning behind it. what is the offical Govt party line that explains why this is justifiable?

Darkesteyes Sun 27-Jan-13 17:28:13
Orwellian Sun 27-Jan-13 17:49:02

YABU. It is not cruel. Nobody has to give up their social homes but if they want to stay then they have to make the choice of paying extra for the luxury of a spare bedroom or downsizing. We have a major housing crisis with hundreds of thousands living in overcrowded accommodation and on the waiting list for social housing. There is no reason why a subsidised asset that was given to someone because of a need 20, 30 years ago, shouldn't be reviewed when the need is no longer there and someone else has a far greater need. Social homes are already much lower rent that private lets and this is just adding a little bit of balance to the unfair system that gives lower rents and secure tenure to those in social homes whilst those in the private sector pay much more for much less. Besides, the homes are not owned (unless bought through the generous "right to buy" subsidy) so they are not being evicted from "their" homes but are being made to free up space at a time of dire need from a government asset.

If only Labour had built 5430580 homes during the 13 years they were in power rather than throwing money at greedy landlords, it wouldn't have come to this!

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 17:56:52

Considering the 2 largest groups of tenants who underoccupy are exempt from this ruling, I can't see it is going to achieve anything substantial apart from making poor people suffer more and more.
Does anyone know roughly how many family homes this will actually free up?
Does anyone actually know how much this will reduce the housing benefit bill by?
My guess is 'not much'.

tiggytape Sun 27-Jan-13 18:06:17

The disparity between over and under occupied homes in enormous in some areas. I appreciate not everyhwere has such diverse housing stock but where it does exist, real hardship is created by young families unable to be allocated a big enough house living virtually nextdoor to older couples in 3 or 4 bedroom properties who refuse to move.

Some councils are pretty good at incentives (cash bonus, redecorating and moving costs and choice of any available property) to get people to downsize but it doesn't have much affect. People are attached to their homes and enjoy having a spare room, knowing their neighbours etc.
As such I don't think this is an unreasonable alternative to really pressure people to downsize where they can because the living conditions for many people in houses too small for them are just awful. It is ridiculous to exclude pensioners from this though.

Rockchick1984 Sun 27-Jan-13 18:07:01

Booyhoo I think you are getting private rent confused with social housing. Private rent means (in your example) that they would get £100 paid to them and find the extra £75 themselves, this isn't going to change.

If they were in social housing and needed a 2 bed property but lived in a 3 bed, they would get all of the rent paid for the 3 bed. All that the change is doing is bringing them in line with the family in private renting, and only subsidising them for the size of house they need rather than whatever size they are in!

Booyhoo Sun 27-Jan-13 18:13:31

i'm in NI and yes it is changing here (i think people forget NI exists sometimes)

soverylucky Sun 27-Jan-13 18:14:22

I think it is really wrong that the policy does not apply to OAP's. They still get the winter fuel allowance regardless of genuine need, they also get the free travel. It does seem that this government are targetting families in particular. I do however still agree with the policy in principal.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 18:41:42

I am surprised that so many people want to see this applied to OAPs. I think that's quite selfish tbh.

These older people were given tenancies that included the expectation that that would be able to stay in their homes for life. It's not right that the goalposts should be changed now that they are old. If they had known that this was going to happen, they could have downsized when their children had left home and they were still able to form local bonds, make new friends and get out and about easily. Or if the rules had changed when they were still able to increase their earnings to cover the extra cost, it wouldn't have been so bad.

But to turf them out of their homes once they have spent years thinking that their home was secure when they are at an age when they should be able to be settled is just mean. I'd say they have more right to their home than someone who has had more children than their home can comfortably cope with while knowing there was a very real possibility that benefit reforms would affect them.

This is why it's a good idea to bring this in for people who are young enough to know that they will have to move when their children have left home, or they will have to ensure they earn enough to cover the extra cost. It's fair when people know what the deal is, but it isn't fair when you give elderly people expectations of one thing and then you pull it out from under them.

mynameisnowsonicthehedgehog Sun 27-Jan-13 18:49:36

My sister lives in a street of social housing, like many of her neighbours she owns her property. Her direct neighbour is a lone parent with two children under 10, living in a 3 bed semi, so under the new rules she faces a reduction in her houing benefit.

When she received the letter informing her of this, she quite blatantly told my sister that she is going to get pregnant so this doesn't happen. Imagine finding out this was the reason your were born.

Whilst I appreciate this won't be the attitude of all, unfortunately it will seem like the easy option for some.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 18:59:03

Clouds that applies to everyone who has been given a tenancy not just pension age people.

As things stand at the mo. they are given out as lifetime tenancies, but its the tenancy that's life time not the house.

Viviennemary Sun 27-Jan-13 19:13:00

There was a similar thread to this a while ago and I thought disabled people were exempt from the new policy.

katykuns Sun 27-Jan-13 19:14:21

I don't have a spare bedroom in private housing, in fact it's very cramped. But I understand that there's a recession and if I want a bigger house I'll have to earn more money to pay for it, it isn't up to the government to sort out spare rooms for me!

But the fact is the people in social housing cannot save up enough if they are getting benefits, so that's not an option, and if you are in a low paid job getting your income topped up with benefits, the harder you work, you just receive less benefit! I know because that's what I am doing in private renting with housing benefit being paid.

Totally agree with all you have said expat and edam!

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 19:20:12

I thought that was changing Sock, and the tenancies would be secure but the homes aren't. So new tenants will know that they won't have their homes for life, it when people who are now old enough to be OAPs were given their homes, they were told they would be for life.

Orwellian Sun 27-Jan-13 20:21:49

It should apply to pensioners as they are the biggest group likely to have a spare bedroom (or two or three) and have benefited the most from cheap housing, generous pensions, free university education (basically things that the younger generation can now only dream of).

However, the pensioners tend to vote Conservative so of course the Tories are not going to include them (turkeys and Christmas etc) in the bedroom tax.

It is indeed very stupid & very unfair.
I have 4dd and me & my dh have been told due to the fact they are same sex siblings we don't need 2 bedrooms for them and they could easily fit in oneblush
They haven't looked at my home, or anything theyv'e gone on how many rooms we have & how many dc we have got and said they are only paying bla bla towards our rent-We are newly unemployed after redundancy.

It's not as if we can just up and move, our kids our settled at school and we have no garantour or deposit for a new rental.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 21:32:41

So old people should be uprooted and penalised because they might have benefitted from things that we going on around them in their youth that they had no control over, in favour of people who had control over how many children they chose to have while they were being supported in some way by the state?

Yeah, that sounds fair. hmm

And i'd like to point out it wouldn't be fair on the elderley either.

And if that was aimed at me, my dc wern't supported by the state until now. My dh worked fulltime to support us.
I didn't have a crystal ball when we decided to have four dc

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 21:49:22

To all of the people who actually agree with this benefit reduction, what do you honestly think people should do when they are on means tested benefits, find they are underoccupying, but there are no smaller properties available?

Should they just cough up the extra money? As I said earlier, that means someone on means tested JSA could be forced to survive on £55 a week.

Is that fair?

That's the situation my friend finds herself in. She is becoming extremely anxious about this issue, to the point where she is regularly to be found wringing her hands and crying, because she doesn't know how she is going to be able to afford it.

She has no idea that council tax benefit is ending on 1st April 2013, and our council have decided that regardless of income, working age people will have to pay 20% of their council tax. This will be the equivalent to another £5 a week of her JSA. That now leaves her £50 a week to live off.

£50 to live completely independently. £50 as the only income. £50 out of which £6 a fortnight is spent travelling to the jobcentre via public transport to 'sign on' which actually means £47 a week to live off.

Does this sound like a fair deal to you?? Does this sound remotely workable? hmm

OTTMummA Sun 27-Jan-13 21:55:45

What is the point though cloud? Why leave them be when they are the biggest group of under occupiers? I don't like the idea, but as it stands it isn't fair to have on rule for the elderly and one rule for the younger generation. This create bad feeling In communities and I can understand why! This is exactly what the blue bastards want though, perfect way to froth us all up and distract us from fighting for fair private rents and secure tenancies for all.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 22:01:04

Well said OTTMummA

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 22:05:49

'in favour of people who had control over how many children they chose to have while they were being supported in some way by the state?'

Yes, because every single person who is affected by this has never been in work for tehir entirely lives, just sat home popping out sprogs and every single 'elderly' person spent their lives slaving away never in any way being supported by the state. hmm

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 22:12:49

Pumpkin, no it wasn't aimed at you, it was a general comment. smile

Why leave them be when they are the biggest group of under occupiers?

Because to be forced to move when you are elderly can be very detrimental and even damaging to health. Pensioners have no opportunity at all to increase their income, whereas people of working age do. The opportunity might be little with unemployment the way it is at the moment, but there is still more hope than someone who is to old to work. Old people don't have choices in the same way that young people do, they might have friends and family that they rely on for their only social interactions, they have doctors and pharmacists and neighbours that know them. It's not easy for someone who is 70 years old to make new friends, create new community links, but someone who is still of working age can do those things much more easily.

Also, pensioners can very greatly in their capabilities. There are some 65yos who struggle with age related illness and who are so set in their ways that moving would be very distressing for them, but then you could get a 75yo who would happily be able to take it in their stride. So offer good incentives to downsize and enable people to stay in their local communities and hopefully some people who could cope with it will do it. But don't force it upon people who are old and who would really suffer because of it. Thats just cruel.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 22:13:38

Yeah, that's what I said Expat hmm

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 22:15:01

'Old people don't have choices in the same way that young people do, they might have friends and family that they rely on for their only social interactions, they have doctors and pharmacists and neighbours that know them. It's not easy for someone who is 70 years old to make new friends, create new community links, but someone who is still of working age can do those things much more easily.'

Neither do disabled children and their carers, who are also affected by this.

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 22:16:35

That's what you imply when you write statements like, 'So old people should be uprooted and penalised because they might have benefitted from things that we going on around them in their youth that they had no control over, in favour of people who had control over how many children they chose to have while they were being supported in some way by the state?'

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 22:23:10

Cloud.

It has always been the tenancy that is lifetime( as long as you don't do stuff that's against the tenancy agreement) not the actual house that's why you can choose to exchange.

Vivienne.

No disabled people are not exempt,you are thinking off the benefit cap as people in receipt of DLA are exempt from that but they are absolutely not exempt from this room charge.

A recent court case ruled that a LA had to take into account children who have disabilities where the child's care needs would create a significant disturbance to the child expected to share with them however they are appealing that in the hope that they won't have to,and as far as I know it only means they have to concider it not that they have to exempt those cases, and it matters not the impact on the disabled child themselves nor any physical risk to the ther child nor privacy with regards to personal care ONLY that the child sharing with the disabled child would have significant night time disturbances

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 22:26:32

Hi expat glad to see you again, we both seam to appear togather on all these threads.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 22:30:17

Neither do disabled children and their carers, who are also affected by this.

Sadly I realise that Expat, and I agree that it is very very wrong, as I have said more than once earlier in the thread.

I don't think I did imply what you chose to read my post as though.

I know it's the tenancy that's lifetime, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that in the past there was an expectation that you would be able to stay in the same property, whereas now (or whenever they bring it in) they are going to reassess needs every few years?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 22:31:49

And the savings are pisspoor seen as they have had to throw 30 million extra at the DHF.

This is the same DHF that routinely does not get spent as its a discretionary in the first half of the year they don't award it as they have to save it for the whole year at the end of the year they find another excuse. Its time limited not subject to the same rules as normal HB,not awarded on circumstances. Its just to crap for words really.

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 22:35:30

'in favour of people who had control over how many children they chose to have while they were being supported in some way by the state?'

What was that supposed to mean, then? When at least one poster on here was just relating how they were both made redundant after they had 4 children. They may have even recently been re-housed by council/HA followin homelessness as a result of relatively recent unemployment.

diaimchlo Sun 27-Jan-13 22:39:12

I find it very disturbing that posters on here think that the elderly should be included in this.

The elderly generation are those who have worked all the way through from the start of the welfare system, paying taxes and NI all their lives to help ensure that the services that you all have enjoyed and benefited from have been available. People thought that if they did this they would have a secure old age and now through Political and banking stupidity they are being victimised in many ways.

The problem with social housing being in high demand was started by Margeret Thatcher bringing in the right to buy and not building new properties with the proceeds.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 22:42:57

There has always been that expectation but knowledge that you could ask for a move either up or down size dependant on need, what they are talking about changing is removing it completely for the tenancy and the house on all sorts of criteria not just the size.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 22:45:17

Stop stirring Expat, I already said my post wasn't directed at the poster who was talking about her situation, so why are you bringing that into it?

It was directed at the general implication is coming across that families with children deserve homes they are comfortable in more than pensioners deserve to have the homes they are comfortable in. I was also considering the points that were raised earlier about how this will affect families with step children.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 22:45:30

No diaimchio some OAP's have worked some haven't the same as many working age people in social housing have always worked and some haven't.

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 22:46:35

'The elderly generation are those who have worked all the way through from the start of the welfare system, paying taxes and NI all their lives to help ensure that the services that you all have enjoyed and benefited from have been available. People thought that if they did this they would have a secure old age and now through Political and banking stupidity they are being victimised in many ways.'

So did all of us. So did plenty of 40 and 50-somethings now affected by this who may have been recently made unemployed (how many jobs have gone through Jessops, HMV, Comet and Blockbuster alone in the past month?) and find themselves affected by this policy.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 22:46:45

Thanks for answering my question Sock. smile

edam Sun 27-Jan-13 22:47:00

Thatcher didn't just fail to build houses with the proceeds of council house sales, she specifically banned councils from using the money to build. It wasn't carelessness or stupidity, it was deliberate. She wanted to turf everyone out of council housing. And governments after her have equally failed to build enough affordable housing - they've allowed house prices to gallop ahead of wages and rents to climb to ridiculous levels.

Now this government is punishing the victims, instead of dealing with a dysfunctional market.

Btw, I agree with pensioners not being made to move, but I don't think anyone else should be punished either. It's a stupid policy in the first place but exempting pensioners while still inflicting it on everyone else makes it even more stupid and hopeless.

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 22:48:52

'Stop stirring Expat, I already said my post wasn't directed at the poster who was talking about her situation, so why are you bringing that into it?

It was directed at the general implication is coming across that families with children deserve homes they are comfortable in more than pensioners deserve to have the homes they are comfortable in. '

How is it stirring to point out what you said in a post that followed another one who is in the precise situation you imply doesn't happen to those who are under-occupying is socialised housing?

The implication, from a couple of posters, is that families with children deserve homes they are comfortable in just as much as pensioners, but one is exempted from the policy and the other is not.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 22:49:41

The difference is that people who have recently found themselves unemployed have some chance of finding another job. Pensioners have no chance.

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 22:50:51

Exactly, edam.

Like the younger generation & 30,40,50 somethings not all oaps did work or pay into society.
There are people of all different ages that did or did not pay taxes.

There are lay abouts of all ages, older generation included.

Although i wouldn't want to see oaps pushed out of their homes, why is it fair they pick on the younger generation aswell as prejudiced?

With this new government, we seem to be going back to the Arc!
Agism is wrong

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 22:51:05

Sorry Expat, I didn't realise I was only allowed to respond to the post that was directly above mine and that all others on the thread should be discounted hmm

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 27-Jan-13 22:56:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 27-Jan-13 22:57:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 27-Jan-13 22:59:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 23:00:55

'The difference is that people who have recently found themselves unemployed have some chance of finding another job. Pensioners have no chance.'

There's no law that says people can't work past a certain age. Plenty of people do to top up their pensions.

expatinscotland Sun 27-Jan-13 23:03:27

The rules don't apply to anyone over 61, as I recall.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 23:04:56

Yes they do, but unless you make pensioners exempt, then you are also including the ones who really can't work.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 23:08:02

People who have recently found themselves unemployed find they have to scrape together enough money out of £71 a week JSA to cover this benefit reduction.
Pensioners OTOH are exempt, but if they were treated the same as everyone else would have to scrape together enough money out of £142.70 a week basic state pension plus top ups of pension guarantee credit to cover this benefit reduction.
If unemployed people are deemed to be able to afford this, why not pensioners?

FWIW, I think the whole situation is ludicrous, and don't agree anyone should have to pay, but if people are going to pay, then we should all be in it together...including the MP's and the royal family.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 23:08:06

Maybe a compromise would be to raise the age to 65 or even 67/68 and to make families living with disability or foster carers exempt.

That way older people who are affected by age related illness would be protected, and so would the people who are currently being unfairly hit.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 23:09:20

CloudsAndTrees There are already people who really can't work that are included in this benefit reduction. Disabled people?

niceguy2 Sun 27-Jan-13 23:09:49

Bet the queen isn't paying bedroom tax on her 200+ rooms!

Bet she's not claiming housing benefit either!

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 23:10:26

People who have recently found themselves unemployed with children will not be living only on JSA. Single people who are recently unemployed and who are only living on JSA will be able to downsize much marie easily.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 23:11:41

Yes Littlemisssarcastic, as I have already alluded to.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 23:12:19

The queen has no need to claim housing benefit, but the tax payer still supports her. I believe 15.1 million a year is spent on maintaining royal palaces. It's just not called housing benefit.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 23:13:23

Clouds "Single people who are recently unemployed and who are only living on JSA will be able to downsize much marie easily"

How do you come to that conclusion?

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 23:15:01

I wonder how much of that 15.1 million, assuming that is correct, comes from the public and tourists being able to visit the palaces. It ain't cheap to do the tour of Buckingham palace, that's for sure!

CloudsAndTrees Sun 27-Jan-13 23:15:36

Because they have the option of lodging, renting a room and house shares.

niceguy2 Sun 27-Jan-13 23:16:38

Without meaning to throw the thread off at a complete tangent, the crown estate contributes about £200 million (approx I think) to the Treasury and in return they get the civil list which is a damn site less.

On the subject of bedroom tax, I think it's fair. How can we reasonably say it's OK for us to pay a family to have a house larger than they need when we have thousands of families without suitable accommodation?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 23:20:49

Nice guy it very much depends on the criteria of need, the rules do not take into account actual need only perceived need.

They are different things.

Tortington Sun 27-Jan-13 23:29:02

This is what they want.

They want cries of ' how unfair on me...old people should be made to move

Read what Edam said about Thatcher - actively selling off and preventing councils from re-building social housing.

turn against each other - don't for a second think bigger, larger, greater. For whilst you are gouging out each others eyes, your blindness prevents you from seeing a bigger picture.

bedroom tax is imminent, there is no benefit, there has been little in the way of telling people about it. and it is the first of many many reforms to welfare.

The welfare, they want you to hate, because now, we are all supposed to hate 'skivers' and adore 'strivers'

in a new world order created by the ultra rich, to serve...the ultra rich. Labour, Lib Dem and Tory - have all failed this country and it's ordinary people.

they are dismantling the welfare state, they are dismantling the NHS, and who benefits.

who

benefits?

am i supposed to really believe, that it isn't the rich friends of politicians who forge social policy to line their own pockets and those of their friends?

from bankers and loan givers, to A4E style training providers, to Workfare placements providing FREE labour.

and we are all swallowing this bullshit, in the name of how this country is going to die under the weight of money owed if we don't.

The very very rich fucked this up, and they are LAUGHING, they are FUCKING LAUGHING AT YOU, the stupid people, dog fighting for the scraps.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 23:32:48

Good idea Clouds. hmm

I'm sure the people who have partners whose disability means that they sleep in separate rooms at night, yet are not exempt from this benefit reduction because they are actually a couple will have no problem renting a room, or taking in a lodger, or perhaps they could house share. What a perfectly reasonable idea.

Am I the only person who thinks the people affected by this have committed only one crime AFA govt is concerned it is a crime and that is to be poor.

If I was living alone in a social housing 5 bedroomed property, but paid all of my rent without needing any help with housing benefit, nothing would change for me.

Social housing rent is one of the most affordable rents in the country at the moment. There are going to be many many underoccupied properties which are not in receipt of housing benefit, and therefore nothing changes for them.

It is a benefit cut for the poorest in society.

niceguy2 Sun 27-Jan-13 23:35:03

I'm sure the new rules won't be perfect. With any change you will always find winners and losers. It sometimes feels like people think the current rules are perfect and the government are changing them for the sake of it.

But hopefully the new rules will help struggling families get a place sooner and those who have spare rooms are encouraged to downsize.

Individually I'm sure there will be many stories of woe. I'm just waiting for all the 'examples' which will soon crop up when Universal Credit is introduced where someone loses out and therefore try to claim the entire system is therefore unfair.

The brutal truth is that government's must make policies which benefit the majority since there is no perfect answer to anything in life. And right now it seems thankfully the balance has swung more towards those who are in need of the extra bedroom and also the taxpayer.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 23:40:20

Custardo I compleatly agree with everything you just said apart from the info about it.

Its been in the media lots and lots letters hav been sent to tenants and the info is available online.

aufaniae Sun 27-Jan-13 23:43:51
littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 23:43:59

Most people this will affect will end up paying the shortfall, because either there are no properties they can downsize to, or they can't afford to move.

1 bed properties are very scarce where I live. 2 bed properties are much more common.

There will be many many people who will need to move to a 1 bedroomed property to avoid having their HB cut, yet those properties are just not there.

This policy would be much fairer if it was just a case of persuading people to move. I don't think people are against moving, they just cannot afford to move or more commonly, they cannot find a suitable property to move to.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 27-Jan-13 23:45:17

Even the housing depts admit it won't free up many houses at all due to a huge lack of 2 bed property's.

If you can asses HB on a persons personal financial/ family size/ work suituation as they do now then you can also asses it on there actual need.

If you can exempt age groups then you an exempt on other grounds.

OTTMummA Sun 27-Jan-13 23:45:39

The only group of people that should be exempt from this are the disabled.

Not every old person has worked and paid taxes for 50-60yrs, i don't know why people spout this crap,, as if suddenly because you get a bus pass you are should now be considered a god dam saint and treated like a wise entity hmm
I don't like the thought of the elderly or anyone for that matter being made to move, but the truth is you do not own your social housing home, it is the tenancy you have, which is like gold dust now tbh.
I think however that to combat problems like covering moving costs etc then the councils should all be made to offer incentives to move, a lot of people will not be able to do so without help even if they want to downsize.

You will still get pensioners refusing to move though.

I don't doubt that we will soon see people being offered appropriate housing in from other counties, and because people won't be able to afford this 'tax' they will end up uprooted to the arse end of nowhere, which leaves you with another set of problems, especially for socially disadvantaged people, young families and the elderly of course, those most important of all.

littlemisssarcastic Sun 27-Jan-13 23:48:55

Iain Sim, chief executive of Coast & Country, one of the largest housing companies in the north-east of England, said it had 2,500 "under-occupiers" but only 16 spare one-bedroom homes on its books. "We are very concerned about this issue and the impact it will have on our tenants," Sim said. "This will undoubtedly have a negative effect on tenants' quality of life and potentially push more people into poverty."

Paul Fiddaman, chief executive of Cestria Community Housing, said his company had 850 working-age under-occupying tenants. "Of these, 480 are in receipt of housing benefit. If all of these tenants are to lose a portion of their housing benefit there will be an annual additional payment required from our tenants of nearly £300,000."

aufaniae Sun 27-Jan-13 23:50:32

But, OTTMummA, the reality is that most people won't be able to simply move, as there is a shortage of appropriately sized housing to move into!

What will happen is that people will have benefits taken off them, driving families further into poverty.

How does that help anyone?

OTTMummA Sun 27-Jan-13 23:55:07

aufaniae i don't think this is the best policy to have, i think it fucking stinks tbh as they are basically taking money from people who have no choice.

That is why i said I don't doubt that we will soon see people being offered appropriate housing in from other counties, and because people won't be able to afford this 'tax' they will end up uprooted to the arse end of nowhere,

aufaniae Mon 28-Jan-13 00:00:45

Ah OK! Sorry am tired and must be skimming rather than reading properly. That'll learn me grin

OTTMummA Mon 28-Jan-13 00:01:02

My mum claims DLA she has lived in social housing since i was 3 20somethingyyrs she moved last year into a 2 bed from her 3 bed which was just across from her, she swapped with friends, one of my sisters still lives at home, however that will not always be the case.
She will at some point under this end up having to pay this 'tax' or move.
In her area there are a shortage of 1 bed places, she wouldn't be able to afford this payment, i expect in the future she would be asked to move out of her area completely.
I forsee people being asked to move from South east coast to inner cities, remote towns, completely uprooted.

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 00:01:05

'Most people this will affect will end up paying the shortfall, because either there are no properties they can downsize to, or they can't afford to move.'

This. And even coughing up the rent, it's still better than the insecurity that is private letting. So many will cough it up and go further into poverty.

aufaniae Mon 28-Jan-13 00:02:05

<wonders if tongue-in-cheek bad English comes over in print. Not sure>
<wonders if it's time for bed. Definitely>

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 00:03:13

And when you're uprooted to the arse end of nowhere, because that's what you deserve for being such a lazy fuckwit, of course, then best of luck getting a job, which makes you even more worthy of punishment.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 28-Jan-13 00:03:23

So I have a social worker who is absolutely refusing to recommend I have a 2 bed disabled access property, as she wants to cut Her budget by forcing me to have a live in carer (as there are employment loopholes which mean you can pay them less than minimum wage). So she is FORCING me to move into a flat where I will now get cuts in?!

I love it. So kind. How will I survive? Fuckers.

Tortington Mon 28-Jan-13 00:03:30

yes i know sock - we work in the same sector i think. whilst i agree councils have been asking for data and in addition to them writing to those potentially affected - Housing associations are too...

unless you are likley to be affected - right now, its something a bit vague - in the ether , mentioned somewhere - that thing thats happening but the public doesn't really know the detail.

aufaniae Mon 28-Jan-13 00:05:45

"I forsee people being asked to move from South east coast to inner cities, remote towns, completely uprooted."

Aren't they removing the requirement for a council for people to be housed in an area they have a history with? So yes, people will end up being shipped all over the place.

The benefit cap will also disproportionately affect families in London.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 00:21:48

I think we may do custardo,

Its infuriating reading all the gov bumph on welfare reform because its so bloody obvious whats happening whilst people who will be effected have no bloody idea they will be so are falling for the shirker nonsense

sashh Mon 28-Jan-13 04:56:04

* Pensioners have no opportunity at all to increase their income, whereas people of working age do.*

Er yes they do. You don't suddenly lose all mental and physical capacity at midnight on your 65th(or whichever) birthday.

I forsee people being asked to move from South east coast to inner cities, remote towns, completely uprooted.

This has already happened but on a voluntary basis. Quite a few of the houses around me are rented by ex-Londoners.

Their London borough did a deal with our local council. If you were in a flat in London you were offered a move paid for by the council and some cash.

Most people, in fact I think all people on the scheme, were given the same number of bedrooms. So you left a 3 bed flat, you got a 3 bed house.

JakeBullet Mon 28-Jan-13 07:11:50

Stands up and applauds custardo for her post at 23:29pm last night . So so right.

Yep Custardos sums this government up to a tee!
Soon we'll be waving goodbye to the NHS tooangry, Cameron has his claws into our country & is going to rip it apart for all of us that are low or working class.

This is only going to get worse.....

I imagine I'm the person who expects a room for her stepchildren. for the record I didn't. when we moved here it was for a 2 bed, we were told by our ha because of their ages we wouldn't be eligible as legally they are not allowed to share. I didn't expect to come out of work to look after my mum who was terminally ill so we lost my wage. the cut means that we will struggle but there is no option to move there are no smaller houses as we got told last time. if we stopped having stepchildren overnight (and I'd rather go without so would dp) we would rightly pay more maintenance so either way we are living on less. it also means we will be in sh longer as there no possible way to save when you already live off the bare minimum.

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 09:13:55

So you won't be moving, Wait. See what I mean, the people who dreamed up this stupid policy have zero experience of renting when you're low-income. I reckon most people will have to suck up the reduction because either there's no place for them to go (no suitable property to swap to and/or no private landlord to accept them - if you have bad credit and no guarantor, are on even partial benefits, have children (how many ads do you see that say, 'No children, pets or DSS)?) or they can't afford to move (LHA caps), or both.

The entire system of private sector letting here needs a massive overhaul that will never happen.

nope won't be moving expat no two beds available and I would rather have my stepchildren here and take the cut. couldn't private rent as don't have a first month rent and deposit upfront and none of my living relatives fit the criteria of guarantor which a lot don't nowadays. it is unfortunate but the way things are. can't see us getting out of here for a long time which is v depressing and not helpful to the housing crisis

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 10:18:25

That's the thing, Wait. We're talking about people who may not have access to guarantors, who may have been housed by the HA or council following repossesion (which means their credit is shit), who in the private sector will need to fall under the LHA cap (and may be unable to source a private sector home for this reason or the difference in rent in the private sector is even higher than in HA/council housing so it doesn't make sense to move), who can't save up first months' rent and deposit (and not all councils participate in bond schemes). So they will have to stay put.

I think so, not sure if its the same everywhere but most private rents round here say no dss in their adds, whether its only a tiny amount to top up or the full hb. we will survive the cut but I really feel for those who are going to struggle more. who the 16 pound a week will mean them going without meals or heat

garlicblocks Mon 28-Jan-13 10:27:26

I'm terrified by this. I don't have a sob story about foster children, wheelchair access or anything. I live on benefits due to ill health. I've got a spare bedroom because this ramshackle, 2-bed house with garden was the same rent as a new, double-glazed, well-fitted single bed flat. Now I'll be expected to move but won't get any help with moving costs, deposit & advance rent. It's impossible sad

I don't think most people realise this isn't about costs. The 'tax' is being taken OFF your HB entitlement, simply because you have a spare room. If my two bedrooms were knocked together, it'd be an amazing room and I would still get my single-person entitlement.

worth you getting in touch with whoever you rent from garlic you may be able to get discretionary payment for a short time or help with moving costs. it is badly thought out and for people like yourself who suffer from ill health moving could be just as detrimental as it could to someone of pensionable age. hope you get some help to explore your options

echt Mon 28-Jan-13 10:35:48

garlicblock's predicament says it all about this policy.

On another note, and I've posted this elsewhere: why the feck should it be assumed that couples share the same bedroom?

Tortington Mon 28-Jan-13 10:45:03

i think thats a fair assumption (what am i missing?)

nappyaddict Mon 28-Jan-13 10:51:15

I agree with it as long as there are smaller places available that they can move to in the area. If not, then it's not fair.

Like the single man with the studio said - there aren't any housing association 1 bed flats, so why should he be penalised for having an extra bedroom when that's all they can offer him?

nappyaddict Mon 28-Jan-13 10:54:39

Actually let me edit that first comment.

I agree with it as long as there are smaller, cheaper places available that they can move to in the area. If not, then it's not fair.

What's the point in people moving somewhere with less bedrooms if it costs more or the same as what their current rent is?

FanFuckingTastic Mon 28-Jan-13 11:03:24

I am a single mum with two children under ten in a three bedroom house.

Under these rules I would have been penalised, however, I am disabled and so is my daughter, and I read up in disability rights whether she should be entitled to her own room, and it said if it is inappropriate for them to share a room due to her disability then she should qualify for her own room.

I went into the council and was told it wasn't the case by a housing officer when I was threatened with homelessness just before Christmas last year.

I went through all their leaflets, including the one on the changes and how they will affect people, and basically in their own words they say that you can ask for an assessment for a further room for disabled children.

Cue a strongly worded letter, with a big list of reasons why it's unsafe and inappropriate for my daughter to share a room with her brother, questioning why I was told one thing when another was true, and implying that my recent homelessness threat was down to incompetence of staff due to not being informed of this as a measure to put into place to help stave off arrears and continue to be housed. They have a duty of care to help prevent the homelessness in the first place, not just give you somewhere to stay afterwards.

The awarded me three bedroom allowance straight away, adding in some guff about it being past the thirteen month deadline for appealing, but taking it as a special case and allowing it anyway, like they were doing me a favour.

My next step is a strongly worded letter about not being on the housing list despite needing fully adapted property for myself and my daughter, and this little gem is going to be included in there as a mention of potential discrimination against disability, or at the very least a lack of care for their disabled tenants. Hopefully then I'll be able to have a safe house for my daughter.

MariusEarlobe Mon 28-Jan-13 11:23:29

My ex has just moved from a big house to a one bed flat. The rent difference is less than forty pound a month. He is in council.

They have him 7 thousand pounds compensation to downsize and moving costs.

He gets HB. So they have paid seven grand to move him to a house that costs less than ten pound a week less in HB. How can that make financial sense?

MariusEarlobe Mon 28-Jan-13 11:24:57

applauds custardo

CloudsAndTrees Mon 28-Jan-13 11:27:07

It probably doesn't make financial sense Marius, but at least a house has been made available for a family that needs it.

And that family was probably in expensive emergency accommodation.

MariusEarlobe Mon 28-Jan-13 11:59:59

Oh I agree with that clouds but why does it need to be so high.

not moving/decoration costs plus a grand incentive. He already had choice of area/house and they waited for a house to come up where he wanted, why seven grand too.

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 12:09:56

'not moving/decoration costs plus a grand incentive. He already had choice of area/house and they waited for a house to come up where he wanted, why seven grand too.'

You are not compensated for downsizing in many councils.

Meglet Mon 28-Jan-13 12:15:01

What custardo and expat have been saying. FWIW I don't recieve HB, but I am crammed into a small house without a spare room but I do not agree with these plans.

Moving is disruptive to families, changing schools, friends etc. To play devils advocate at least elderly people don't have to change a school if they move.

There are too many early old-age people rattling about in big houses, but as I'm a nice person I know they can't be chucked out to move a family in.

How may houses does this country need building? Someone needs to crack on with it.

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 28-Jan-13 12:29:36

This policy is not to save money, because it won't. They know that. It is a purposefully socially divisive tactic driven by the ideology that poor people should not, ever, have settled lives with the security of having a home.

The whole point of this is to show the poor that they should never get too comfortable, because if you are needy you can be expected live in a perpetual state of "what are they going to do to us next?"

The latest attack on the poor from this government is merely the latest in a long term goal of making sure that the poorest and least powerful in this country are even more anxious ,feel even more that they have no rights, and create a deepened sense of fear and insecurity.

The divisive part is that the people who feel they are on the rung above, the almost-poor, who don't have social housing or housing benefit, )and who are also struggling) are being campaigned by the right wing media to support these cuts because they are scared too.

At the same time the rich pay less tax and corporations pay no tax at all,while we at the bottom turn on each other like half starved dogs ripping each other to bits over scraps.
It's quite clever really. Evil, but clever.

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 12:34:16

Bravo, IfNot. I couldn't agree more. This is yet another exercise in Wag-the-Dog bullshit by a government bent on screwing everyone but the truly rich.

I dont follow hugely the shake ups or understand the way the government works but i can understand the sentiment to what you just said because we are one of those people who are thinking what will it be next. Which i suppose people dont expect us to be as dp works full time but he does so for a low wage.

Viviennemary Mon 28-Jan-13 12:47:29

But a lot of people are in desperate need of housing. And there is no point saying build more houses because that is not going to solve the problem for a very long time. I can't think why more houses weren't built by Labour instead of giving the huge subsidies to private landlords. But maybe they felt it was cheaper doing that than being responsible for maintaining even more council owned property.

I think it is fair that people should have to move to smaller properties if they are being subsidised and are in a bigger property than they need. But of course the Council should use discretion for special cases.

So true IfNot, this government won't be happy until we are all on the streets begging for food.
Evil

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 12:54:13

'But a lot of people are in desperate need of housing. And there is no point saying build more houses because that is not going to solve the problem for a very long time. I can't think why more houses weren't built by Labour instead of giving the huge subsidies to private landlords. But maybe they felt it was cheaper doing that than being responsible for maintaining even more council owned property.

I think it is fair that people should have to move to smaller properties if they are being subsidised and are in a bigger property than they need. But of course the Council should use discretion for special cases.'

And again, the largest percentage of under-occupiers are these so-called pensioners, actually this policy does not apply to anyone age 61+, hardly 'old'. They are exempt from this policy.

And this policy doesn't force anyone to do anything, it's a reduction in HB, same as found in the private sector. So, on balance, many are going nowhere because there is nowhere for them to go. So they will stay put and suck up the reduction and be even poorer.

And the over 61s will probably stay put, too.

The private sector needs massive revision as fewer and fewer people will be able to buy their own home and, when interest rates have to rise if the economy goes into triple dip and inflation gets goin, more people will be repossessed, leaving them with shite credit, which means many won't be able to find a private landlord to take them.

This is putting the cart before the horse!

garlicblocks Mon 28-Jan-13 12:59:47

But if they're in a bigger property than (the government now says) they need, Vivienne, how did they get into it? Unless they had a squadron of children living at home, who've all now left, then the property was either substandard and cheap - like mine - or it was deemed appropriate to their needs before the rules changed.

Bear in mind this isn't about cost - that bombshell will hit in 2015. It's wholly about rooms. Maybe you've got two teenagers in two minimum-size bedrooms. The government will take money off you because they don't share.

Would you uproot your life and move - quite possibly away from your job, schools, friends and so on - just because the government changed its mind about how many bedrooms you should have?

Thats my problem with it garlic, my stepdaughter cannot share with her brother or my ds (who share anyway) due to her age and the fact shes female. this is a rule set by the HA that we live in. Yet according to the new rules she doesnt need a bedroom. I dont see how that works. If the room was a spare room then fair enough but it isnt. Oh and even if i wasnt in SH i would still think that this "tax" is ridiculous. It will do nothing to help with the housing crisis due to oaps being exempt and the fact that smaller housing isnt available even to those who are willing so its just a cut. No two ways about it.

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 13:19:05

And it's not even about people with children. Couples with two beds, often put in them because there were no one-beds available, will be subject to this, even if perhaps they have already downsized due to children leaving home.

The ideology behind it all is the same at Thatcher's: privatisation. Move more to the private sector. To line the pockets of BTL landlords. The trouble is the eejits behind this are too clueless to realise they haven't put in place the ability to make that happen, because so many private LL's can't or won't take people in receipt of any housing benefit and can specify no children. And that's not even touching on the short-assured tenancy joke.

So, let's just say you're Mr and Mrs John Doe with two children, a boy and a girl under ten. Mr Doe got made redundant last year and Mrs Doe is on a zero-hours contract with unstable hours. Their private sector landlord decided not to renew their contract, as they needed HB, and so they had to go through the formal eviction process before council allocated them a 3-bed flat to keep them out of expensive temp accommodation.

Now they will need to stump up £20/week for that 'extra' bedroom. And they will likely do it because finding a private sector LL who will take their kids and their HB and their eviction status is nigh on impossible and, believe it or not, a lot of people do not have a guarantor. Oh, they don't have first months rent or deposit and don't live in a council with a bond scheme.

So what do you think they will do?

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 13:22:07

And now that they are down £20/week, best of luck saving for that deposit and first months' rent, too!

Just trawl the property boards here and you will see the barriers to getting a private let if you are on any sort of HB, not to mention if you have children.

raises hand hey expat i think they will fill the other room with a new baby and stay where they are.

not ideal but i bet a lot of people are thinking it!

I live on my own. I have a one-bedroomed flat but it's my own not HA.

For some people, this proposal is patently unfair.

For some people, it's about time they did stop clogging up houses that could be freed for others who DO need a bigger house.

I know plenty of HA tenants who are in their 50s, have 4 bedrooms from when they had kids, the kids are now gone but they still have that 4-bedroomed house. One couple I know were kicking off hugely about this proposal on the basis that "when our kids come to visit, they need somewhere to sleep". Bearing in mind they may come for two or three weekends a year, the answer is either a B&B or do what I do - get two decent sofa beds and they can sleep in the lounge!

It does make me laugh when people say oh well you should save and get out of Social housing like its the easiest thing in the world to save between 1000 and 2000 pound for deposits,rent and moving costs without even factoring in the rise in rent

expatinscotland Mon 28-Jan-13 13:37:13

And finding that landlord who can't wait to get people on HB, subject to caps, with children into their abode.

sudaname Mon 28-Jan-13 13:45:18

I feel sorry for children who live between two homes. Now along with all the usual step family politics which are well documented they are now going to feel as welcome as boil on the bum at their second home in families affected by this because they will either be costing the second household dearly for the 'luxury' of having their own room at daddys (or mummys) house which could well cause resentment from a second partner or the 'second' home will have to downsize meaning whenever the child or children stays there everybody will have to squash up or they will have to sleep on a temporary bed of sorts, which will do little to make them feel 'at home'.
Wont do much good for stepparent/stepchild relations whatsoever as if an other issue is needed in this relationship.

MariusEarlobe Mon 28-Jan-13 14:52:34

This must already be in in our area, when we fled exh I was on HB. Initially I got a standard local allowance rate for my area, then an exact rate of the rent I paid (fair enough). The calculation letter that came stated I was only entitled to a one bed as dd was under ten and could therefore share.

I'm working now but can't afford to move as in private.

garlicblocks Mon 28-Jan-13 14:55:18

I think they will fill the other room with a new baby and stay where they are

I know, it's mad, isn't it? Of all the daft reasons to have a baby - but it makes practical sense under these daft rules!

Then everybody can come on here and whine about shirkers having kids to get a bigger house ... oh, they already do.

confused

Where can I get a child? Anybody got one too many??

YY, sudaname, it's hardly unusual for tenants to have DC spending part of the week with them - on camp beds in the living room, from now on sad

its v wrong what ive said but its true and it will happen. not from me i like my sleep too muchgrin

sudaname Mon 28-Jan-13 15:21:19

Yes garlic l can almost see the poor stepchild/ren rolling up with the sleeping bag under their arm/s and the stepmother and the stepsiblings looking out the window thinking grrrrr.... there goes our beds/bedrooms for a couple of nights.
Methinks stepparenting board will be getting even busier than usual soon.

we will just learn to live off less, at eleven yrs old I wouldn't expect sd to come if she had to sleep on a campbed or in our room and its also against the housing association rules. can see what you mean though some people will have no option

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 16:07:44

Fanfucking.

The only thing that is relevant for the HB assessment is the disturbance created to the child who would be expected to share with the child who has a disability.

So make sure you include that in your letter and it would be helpful if you an get a docters letter confirming night time disturbance.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 16:30:13

Waiting, it is not actually against the rules. Its only against the rules if its a child's normal residence for the LA to only allocate a room to share.

Sharing under those circumstances on a temp basis is not ideal but it is not against the law.

OTTMummA Mon 28-Jan-13 17:59:41

I know a lot of people/couples who work ft and live in social housing, they could be saving a lot of money because the rents for council houses are very low compared to private rents, 3bed house is £90pw in my mums area and privately it is more like £600 on average. These people have a lot of excess money, they go to Florida every year and redecorate their house every spring, they have a comfortable life, they do not need social housing now, they are no longer in need iykwim, but they wouldn't move and I can't blame them!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 28-Jan-13 18:10:35

And they probably won't be effected at all by these rules because if there not hard up they either won't be on HB or if they are they won't be bothered by the room charge.

So they won't move and the house won't be freed up

littlemisssarcastic Mon 28-Jan-13 18:20:20

OTTMummA "3bed house is £90pw in my mums area and privately it is more like £600 on average. "

£600 a week!! shock shock shock

ChocHobNob Mon 28-Jan-13 18:45:52

Suda, it is extremely uncommon for non resident parents to currently get awarded an extra room for a child who isn't with them more than 50% of the time anyway. It won't make much difference to step families.

But thankfully not all step parents(ie. new partners) and their children are as nasty as you describe, begrudging space in their homes going to their step children.

OTTMummA Mon 28-Jan-13 18:54:33

Sorry, 600pcm, mum always tells me in weeks for her rent, private rents are shown in pcm, forgot to make the distinction. Still that's quite a gap. Where I am (nearer to London) council 3 bed is 4-500pcm and private rental 3 bed upwards of 950pcm

sudaname Mon 28-Jan-13 20:30:30

Choc that's my point that they dont get an extra room so when a child or children comes to stay with their NR parent then there is going to be a lot of sharing,squeezing in etc to be done if the family home is one chosen deliberately to not fall foul of these rules i.e. no extra rooms/just enough for resident Adults /DCs if there are any. That's a point actually what if a couple rent a house and one partner is childless and the other partner has say two NR children from a previous relationship. Do they seriously have to rent a one bed house or get penalised. They can hardly have stepchildren sleeping in the same bedroom as the stepchild/children can they ? Social services wouldnt be too impressed.

Sorry l wasnt suggesting stepparents and stepsiblings are nasty or begrudging of their space. Was just trying to say it wont help in what can already be a complex challenging situation (one only needs to read the stepparenting board) in which unfortunately resentment does at times raise it's head. Some of these issues do centre around space or a lack of it when two families are 'blended'. Where there is already such an issue this new rule is not going to help one iota and will only compound it.

ChocHobNob Tue 29-Jan-13 12:15:38

Suda, my point was, non resident parents are not currently allowed to claim for a room for a non resident child so unless they already have an extra room, non resident parents wont be affected.

Currently, non resident parents cannot get housing benefit for a child who they do not claim child benefit for.

Currently, non resident families have to make do and fit people in and squeeze. And yes, it has meant non resident children kipping in their parent's rooms or the non resident parent and their partner sleeping in the living room while the child/ren sleep in their room while they visit. This wont be a new thing. This is how non resident parents have had to live for a long time.

fromparistoberlin Tue 29-Jan-13 12:45:58

I agree with it

something has to be done. taxpayers money is being used to build more homes, yet we have people in 2-3 bed houses they dont need

Near my exLA home we have countless families in nice council homes with spare bedrooms they dont need. My Neighbours did have their teenage mum granddaughter living there. but guess what! she got a council flat. madness

I am no poor basher but it cant be that EVERY SINGLE BUDGET CUT gets bashed.....comeone some logic is needed

How the fuck can they save money? as clearly everything is sacred right?

Bramshott Tue 29-Jan-13 12:48:54

I think it's a great idea. After all, there are all these 1 and 2 bed places standing empty just waiting for people to move into them!

Oh no, hang on, that's not quite right is it . . . . confused?

fromparistoberlin Tue 29-Jan-13 14:58:23

many familes are overcrowded
many families have houses that are too large

all funded by the public purse. swap em

expatinscotland Tue 29-Jan-13 15:16:27

'I am no poor basher but it cant be that EVERY SINGLE BUDGET CUT gets bashed.....comeone some logic is needed

How the fuck can they save money? as clearly everything is sacred right?'

People over 61 are exempt, no matter that that's not even pensionable age and plenty of those people are working. People in social housing but not in receipt of housing benefit are not affected, no matter how many are working.

But you're not a poor basher hmm

How can they save money? Let's start with MP's 'expenses', those scroungers expense their rent, Sky bill, even their lunch, despite earning £62k/annum for an essentially part-time job with 12 weeks holiday/annum.

Let's then move on to the billions of pounds that are 'tax-avoided', corporate subsidies.

Oh, troops to Mali. How much is that costing?

But nah, the few people who are actually affected by this (given that people age 61+ are exempt and people in social housing who are not claiming HB) are a more visible target for ignorant people to hate.

fromparistoberlin Tue 29-Jan-13 15:30:19

expat

personally I have no issue with MP expenses. I think its ridiculous we expect people to leave industry (or law etc..) and then run the country for £45K. Now duck ponds aside its a fucking mess, but I do think they need to take a more realistic view at MP salaries which will stop people rakling it back another way

Mali, on the one hand I know fuck all about it. But I do happen to know the defence budgets are getting cut. and whteher we like it or not we get ALOT of tax revenue from oil firms in Algeria, and we need to adress the situation there

Rich not paying tax, yup I agree with you on that one grin but pragmatically, even when they dont pay tax they still generate revenue, which is the issue. Its just millions, not billions

I think though that people HATE the tories so much that there is an almost knee jerk reaction to any tax cut

Did I need child benefit? did I hell. I liked it, but I can live without it

I used to vote labour but even then I could see their current spending levels were crazy

Seeng something as a pragmatic solution is NOT poor bashing

MrsBucketxx Tue 29-Jan-13 15:34:20

to me what they have suggested makes sense, it might redress the balance a bit in homes funded by housing benefit.

why stay in a home with more room than you need, when you dont pay for it.

FanFuckingTastic Tue 29-Jan-13 15:41:15

Sockreturningpixie

My claim has been successful, they admitted that their own policy is to offer and assessment for disabled children to see if they require their own room, so I've got three bedroom allowance now.

Just in time for the letter to drop on my mat from my landlady saying I will receive another Section 21 in March, making me homeless in May. And the council are trying to wiggle out of even giving me a house, trying to get me to get another private rental, except I haven't yet see a three bedroomed flat or bungalow going in this area, and certainly no adapted houses, so what am I going to do about moving into unfit accommodation? They won't let me do it myself and then house me, so why can they do it to me?

Have GRRRRRRRS coming out of my ears, like steam. Back on to fighting the long fight, trying to have my family housed appropriately, given the appropriate money, and receiving appropriate services. Never mind the fact that I'm disabled, feel like shit, want to lie down right now and just not wake up.

Except I won't, I've made the phonecalls, organised appointments, getting support, gathering information and will continue the fight. Hopefully the doc will up my tranquillisers again, so I don't implode with stress.

expatinscotland Tue 29-Jan-13 16:48:27

'I think its ridiculous we expect people to leave industry (or law etc..) and then run the country for £45K.'

They're on £60K. And it's part-time.

expatinscotland Tue 29-Jan-13 16:56:25

It only works, MrsBucket, if people move. But, given there's nowhere to downsize to, many will just suck it up, be poorer and not move at all.

Fgs £42k is hardly poor and expat is right, its 60k.
They are rolling in it whilst us mw and unemployed bare the brunt.

JakeBullet Tue 29-Jan-13 17:11:51

60k plus "expenses" (and we all know how that has worked out).
For years as a community midwife I was paid at public transport rate mileage (13p a mile at the time) for petrol plus wear and tear on my car. In the meantime MPs were getting 45p a mile.
Fact is some MPs on all sides worked that to their advantage.

Darkesteyes Tue 29-Jan-13 17:26:36

Dh and i were fighting to get a ramp put in the entrance of our building. He has already had two accidents on his mobility scooter while coming in the building. (toppled over backwards and had to go to hospital because of hitting the back of his head) The HA refused to put a ramp in. They said we could move to another flat instead.
The entrances to the other buildings are exactly the same so we would have the same problem.
She also suggested that because of his disabilities a 2 bedroom place might be better.
You should have seen her face when i explained about the bedroom tax.
And the fact that there would be a break in tenancy. AND the fact that as the entrances in the flats are all the same it would make no difference to the way DH has to struggle with his scooter.
We have one bedroom. DH sleeps on a bed made up in the living room. We have slept in seperate beds for several years now partly because of his disability. He has spasms in the night and used to end up kicking me.
im saying that ONE of the reasons we turned down a 2 bedroom was because of this bedroom tax.
We have seen it coming for a while. Unlike some of the people i know in RL who are acting all surprised because rather than looking at the news and paying attention to the world around them they live on a diet of reality shows and celebrity crap.

houseelfdobby Tue 29-Jan-13 17:30:27

It is harsh but fair. You could look at it another way and say aren't we lucky to live in a society where the needy are provided with a house with enough bedrooms for everyone at NO COST to themselves? It's incredible really (and fab). But these are hard times and there has to be a line.

When I couldn't afford a full mortgage, I rented out my spare room. Surely families who are being penalised for having bedrooms that are underused could do the same. That would provide extra housing for all sorts of people.

As for foster carers, round here they get about £350 per week per child. That should cover it. Foster carers NOT on HB have to bear the extra cost of an extra bedroom themselves. Why should foster carers on benefit effectively have make more "profit" than those not on benefit?

THis new "tax" or "cut" should indeed encourage more rooms to be put into occupation, as well as saving money on these particular benefits so that those in real need (eg homeless) can be better provided for.

PS OAPs should not be exempt.

Darkesteyes Tue 29-Jan-13 17:33:46

When I couldn't afford a full mortgage, I rented out my spare room. Surely families who are being penalised for having bedrooms that are underused could do the same. That would provide extra housing for all sorts of people.

And of course you are offering to help pay for the CRB checks just to make sure these potential lodgers are ok to be around children.
Because if (god forbid) something awful happened the parents definately wouldnt be blamed would they? <rolls eyes>

JakeBullet Tue 29-Jan-13 17:33:51

Houseelf.....most tenancies forbid you from taking in lodgers.

expatinscotland Tue 29-Jan-13 18:19:36

'Surely families who are being penalised for having bedrooms that are underused could do the same. That would provide extra housing for all sorts of people.'

Most are prohibited from doing this by their tenancy agreements.

sudaname Tue 29-Jan-13 18:25:52

Oh l see Choc. I think ! Complicated isnt it? But l was thinking of newly formed families looking for a place to rent or moving area or whatever - will they not be worse off? Or as you say those with a extra room already for when (NR)DCs come to stay will they not lose some housing benefit now because of this 'spare' room ? Also what about families with two or three children from previous relationships. It's ridiculous they cant even have one spare bedroom to accomodate maybe two or three or more children without falling foul of this 'rule' and being penalised.

<head explodes>

grin

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 29-Jan-13 18:45:00

Fanfucking,

How can your issue with the room tax be resolved it has not yet come into force and as things stand at the moment the LA's HB dept are not accepting requests for considerations?

MerryCouthyMows Tue 29-Jan-13 20:06:38

LHA allowances - living in a Private Rented 3 bed, due to need, disabled parent, 2 DC's of opposite sex, one of those disabled.

LHA refusing to pay for a 3-bed, only paying for a two. FanFuckingTastic having to find extra to top up. Not getting DLA AT THAT POINT for either hers or her DC's disabilities. Getting into rent arrears as unable to cover the difference between the 2-Bed LHA paid and the ACTUAL cost of the rent.

I know LOTS of people in a similar situation.

And there's nowhere suitable for them to move to.

Another person I know in that situation is unable to move as Occupational Therapy have paid to fit a wet room in her current property. She has been told that there are NO available 3-Bed properties (she has DC's, but her current house is larger than she needs as her eldest goes to Uni now) that have a fitted wet room.

She has also been told that OT will NOT pay to adapt another property within the next 5 years. At which point she will be put on a waiting list. There are ALWAYS 5,000+ people in URGENT need on the waiting list. The annual budget for these adaptations covers just 3 per year. And is being cut AGAIN in April.

So she can a) Stay put and pay 25% of her (highly extortionate) rent. (SE). B) Downsize so that her teenager has nowhere to sleep when he is on holiday from Uni and from when he finishes Uni, AND have no way of independently washing herself, costing £££ in carer costs as she is a disabled lone parent.

It will actually cost them MORE to pay for her to have Carers coming in to wash her than it will to just continue to pay her current level of HB...

Money saving or ideological?

edam Tue 29-Jan-13 20:22:40

Great post, Mouthy. Sadly.

MrsBucketxx Wed 30-Jan-13 07:56:36

I can't see how people are moaning, if they dont pay for it in the first place then suck it up, get a job,

its not that hard.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 08:07:17

Mrsbucket,

If your going to attempt to wind people up do try and find out about the thing that's causing them concern.

9 out of 10 HB claimants are actually working people,its not just the ones who don't have jobs that this rule includes its everybody who has any HB and is of working age even if they have a job

just shows how little you know about it to say get a job its not that hard, what if like pp says you do have a full time that's low paid and that 14% or 25% is the difference between eating or not. or having heating or not because it will be for some people

JakeBullet Wed 30-Jan-13 14:47:30

We appear to have been infiltrated by Conservative Central Office hmm .

Seeing rather a lot of em on these threads.

andubelievedthat Wed 30-Jan-13 16:39:07

its diamond dave playing to the "strivers" vote>otherwise the Queen would have 2 move from Buck house (100 or so empty rooms)

MrsBucket. Mw earners and those low earners cannot afford to pay rent and their rent needs to be partly HB.

So unless your very well to do or your rent is cheap (v unlikely nowadays), then most will be affected by this.

And no people cannot just, up and move because that also costs money, and where are all these places to move into?

Oh and for the record, dh is looking for work but he has been for 4 months and still hasn't got one.
Where are all these jobs you talk off, please tell me and he'll snap it up?

There are over 200 people or more applying for each job, only one can have it. Normally the youngsters get them 1st as under 21s are on lower wage and the the more experienced.

garlicblocks Wed 30-Jan-13 18:58:35
ChocHobNob Wed 30-Jan-13 19:37:21

Suda, they've never regularly been able to claim for a child that doesn't live with them the majority of the time. Benefits for a child go to the parent in receipt of child benefit. Including housing benefit for the child's room. Both parents cannot receive those benefits. As it stands, it will be nothing new for Non Resident parents.

It's partly why I find the argument that all NRPs paying the CSA minimum maintenance are losers unfair. Some NRPs are losers. Some pay the minimum and nothing more. Some don't even see the children. But some have their children up to 50% of the time and pay maintenance and receive no benefits for the child, instead they fund a bigger house and an extra room or have to make room in the home (along with all the other costs they incur from having their childen spend time with them).

It may not be fair that these non resident children cannot have their own room or have to share with half or step siblings, but it's what has happened for years. It isn't something new. It's also exactly what those who own or have mortgages on their properties and cannot afford a bigger house, have to do.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 30-Jan-13 19:40:25

Can I ask something? I currently live in a 2 bed. The rent is too high and I want to move. Most of the cheaper places happen to be 3 bed ex-council houses. If I move from an expensive private rented 2 bed to a cheaper private rented 3 bed, will my LHA be cut? (I have one child).
(I am working, but, like the majority of renters in the UK need assistance to cover extortionate rents.)
Does anyone know?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 19:48:25

You will only be entitled to receive the LHA for a 2 bed as that is the size of house you need.

garlicblocks Wed 30-Jan-13 19:51:25

Yes, your LHA will be cut.
As you're entitled to a 2-bed, you will get the 2-bed allowance if you live in a 2-bed.
If you live in a 3-bed, you'll get the 2-bed allowance less 14%.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:10:05

Tommorrow Channel 4 news are covering the cuts in council tax benefit.

crashdoll Wed 30-Jan-13 20:16:16

My main issues are simple:

1.) Where are all the smaller properties?

2.) Can everyone afford the costs of downsizing?

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 20:26:53

darkeyes do you understand how this will impact on families?
Harsh but fair?

So my mate with her severely disabled DD will have to find an extra 14% or move.
Not just move but find a two bedroom, ground floor, adapted property with enough room to store her DD's wheelchairs, standers and other equipment. Let us be honest here, two bedroom does not just = reduction in bedrooms it also means a significant reduction in living space. How many two bedroom flats have the same size kitchen and reception as a three bedroom property?
Not just find that sort of property but it will HAVE to be in the same borough to enable her DD to go to her special needs school AND continue to receive her health and social care from the teams that have known her since birth.

She will have to do all this even if a lift is put in through the ceiling of her living room, taking up most of the box bedroom, rendering it unusable for sleeping in.

Do you still think it is fair?

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 20:29:04

I own my own house.
My children share a room.
But it is MY house.
It is a my biggest asset.
It is worth a great deal of money.

Someone living in a three bed council house is NOT better off than me even if they have a spare bedroom hmm

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 20:40:05

Garlic, she won't get the lower LHA minus 14% as its only social housing that gets the % reduction. Its just the flat LHA for the size house she needs and now she would no longer be able to keep the £15 difference between the rent and the LHA if the rent was cheaper like they used to let you do.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:47:03

Mrs De vere i think you have misunderstood me. I NEVER said or thought it was fair.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 30-Jan-13 20:48:02

OK, thanks. In my local authority you already dont get to keep the extra if your rent is cheaper than LHA.
It would seem totally insane if I moved to a cheaper house, for them to reduce my LHA. The 3 bed place I looked at yesterday was less than the lha, so in effect would be saving the council money.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:48:14

confused confused confused

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 20:49:09

Is this fair?

"Tenants with disabilities will also be subject to the penalty, unless a bedroom is used by a non-resident carer who stays overnight.

Jayson and Charlotte Carmichael from Southport received a letter informing them they will be expected to contribute an additional £11.90 per week towards the cost of their two bedroom flat.

Charlotte suffers from spinal bifida and sleeps in a hospital-style bed which is designed especially for her condition, while Jayson sleeps in the second bedroom.

The couple are now deemed to be under-occupying the property.

The letter tells them their options are to pay the penalty, move to a smaller home or take in a lodger.

“It’s so depressing,” says Charlotte. “I have to sleep in this bed. I didn’t ask to live like this.”

“I’ll have to give up bus travel,” says Jayson. “And we’ll have to cancel the television subscription.

“I don’t know why we’re being penalised. We’re not under-occupying this flat.

“Charlotte needs to sleep in a hospital bed because she’s severely disabled. We’re already pushed for space with all the medical equipment. It’s disgraceful.”

From this page

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:49:34

I never said it was harsh but fair. i never posted anything of the sort.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 20:49:34
Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:50:39

This is what i posted last night.

DarkesteyesTue 29-Jan-13 17:26:36

Dh and i were fighting to get a ramp put in the entrance of our building. He has already had two accidents on his mobility scooter while coming in the building. (toppled over backwards and had to go to hospital because of hitting the back of his head) The HA refused to put a ramp in. They said we could move to another flat instead.
The entrances to the other buildings are exactly the same so we would have the same problem.
She also suggested that because of his disabilities a 2 bedroom place might be better.
You should have seen her face when i explained about the bedroom tax.
And the fact that there would be a break in tenancy. AND the fact that as the entrances in the flats are all the same it would make no difference to the way DH has to struggle with his scooter.
We have one bedroom. DH sleeps on a bed made up in the living room. We have slept in seperate beds for several years now partly because of his disability. He has spasms in the night and used to end up kicking me.
im saying that ONE of the reasons we turned down a 2 bedroom was because of this bedroom tax.
We have seen it coming for a while. Unlike some of the people i know in RL who are acting all surprised because rather than looking at the news and paying attention to the world around them they live on a diet of reality shows and celebrity crap

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 20:52:25

Ifnotnow,

Is it lower than the LHA for a 3 bed or a 2 bed?

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:52:26

DarkesteyesTue 29-Jan-13 17:33:46

When I couldn't afford a full mortgage, I rented out my spare room. Surely families who are being penalised for having bedrooms that are underused could do the same. That would provide extra housing for all sorts of people.

And of course you are offering to help pay for the CRB checks just to make sure these potential lodgers are ok to be around children.
Because if (god forbid) something awful happened the parents definately wouldnt be blamed would they? <rolls eyes>

First paragraph in this post was copied and pasted from another poster.
Second paragraph is me.

aufaniae Wed 30-Jan-13 20:52:53

Is it fair that people will be penalised for under occupying even if they want to move to a smaller property but there are none available?

"According to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions around 600,000 one bedroom flats will be needed to accommodate tenants currently under-occupying larger homes, but national housing stocks for this kind of property stand at just 300,000.

In the Liverpool city region there are 10 potential tenants for each one bedroom flat that comes on the social housing market. Estimates suggest it will take seven to eight years to find smaller properties for those willing to downsize in this area, not taking into account new demand."

Also from this page

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 20:53:14

Darkest they have mixed you up with the poster who posted directly after you.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:55:23

Just checked It was houseelfdobby who said it was harsh but fair.
I copied and pasted some of her post. Thats what must have caused the confusion.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 20:56:57

Thanks Sock. Got into a bit of a panic there for a min and thought somone might have hacked in as me smile

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 21:03:13

oops SO very sorry darkeyes I don't know what happened there blush
It was meant in response to houseelfdobby

Sorry again <grovels>

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 21:04:20

grin well if they had I would have fallen off my chair,your posting style is quite noticeable to me and I know your not in the habit of saying ill thought out cuntish things on these threads

MrsDeVere Wed 30-Jan-13 21:07:46

I just read her post again.
Its even crapper the next time round.

'AT NO COST TO THEMSELVES'

Not all HB claiments are on full benefits. Lots and lots and lots work. Some of them probably harder than you dobby. They just don't have as much money.

How do you rent out a room that is not available?

Like the one that a foster carer would have to have? I doubt you would find many lodgers willing to be turfed out every time a child is placed.

Or for NRP whose child lives with them a few days a week? Get a lodger in and the child sort of hovers around till its time to go back to mum's/dad's

Or that room with the suction equipment, oxygen tank, bathing aids, wheelchairs or the fecking great through floor lift in it?

How much could you charge for that?

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 21:09:38

Thats ok Mrs De vere no worries. Agree with you btw. x

garlicblocks Wed 30-Jan-13 21:13:47

Thank you for the info, Sock. My LA wrote months ago to advise me that I'd be penalised - I'm in a private rental. I know a lot of other people, in various different LAs, who've also had this advice.

I'm confused but not optimistic.

claig Wed 30-Jan-13 21:20:17

I think this is a terrible policy. Uprooting people who have lived in their homes for decades for about £14 per week or whatever it is, seems to me to be vindictive.

I think it may lose them the election when people wake up to it.

JakeBullet Wed 30-Jan-13 21:26:12

I think this is going to be their "poll tax". Too many people are going to be negatively affected. The sad thing is that many of them will not be in a position to move or pay the difference. ..some cases already coming up which show the idiocy of the changes.

garlicblocks Wed 30-Jan-13 21:31:17

Claig, the people being affected by this will be in too much uproar to bother about voting in the next election. In April 2015, local authorities will be relieved of their duty to house residents within their authority. All they'll have to do is find them a place - anywhere in the country.

I've forgotten how this was worked out, but only the North-East has spare housing at the low rents LAs will be ready to pay. There will be a rush to Middlesbrough, which is already reeling under the worst cuts in the country.

Maybe Sock knows where to find details? Anyway, the upshot will be local authorities all over the country palming off their poor to other boroughs. HB recipients will be obliged to go wherever they are sent, or sort something out without housing benefit. This is clearly going to be a mass, messy migration and tear lives apart. It's unlikely that registering to vote in their new location will be top of anybody's mind.

VitoCorleone Wed 30-Jan-13 21:32:10

Tory cunts.

Remember when Labour where in power and everybody was ranting on about how David Cameron and the Torys would sort this country out, get it back on its feet, clear up labours mess etc?

Well they're doing a fucking good job arent they?

The poor where never going to come off very well with those cunts in power where they?

garlicblocks Wed 30-Jan-13 21:34:36

It's making everybody else poorer, too, Vito. Except the very rich.

sudaname Wed 30-Jan-13 21:36:02

Hi Choc. So what about families who did already have a 'spare' room for the NR parents child to use when they stay ? Will they now get their housing benefit cut or be penalised iows for this 'spare' room as it is classed now?

I know what you mean about families that own their own house always had this.
DHs son has a young DC from a prev. relationship. He is the NRP. He now has a DC2 with a different DP. They bought their first house together a few years ago when their DC was a baby - two beds (and the DCs are opp. sex and four yrs apart in age).
His DP is flatly refusing to stretch herself anymore mortgage wise or work wise to help them get a bigger house and has resisted it for last few years when it has become obvious the eldest - her stepchild - does need her own room.
So they carry on with bunk beds etc. and the oldest (when there) being told either has to go to bed at same time as much younger sibling or cant go to bed till youngest asleep as will disturb them - no matter how late that is. Neither satisfactory really and both centring round SMs own childs needs and SMs wishes.
Her argument - why should she work longer hours, see less of her own child etc to provide a bigger house to accomodate her stepchild.
She thinks her DP should do any extra hours, earn any extra money needed if he wants a bigger house for his child and bottom line is he cant do it on his own.
Besides in her ideal world it would just be the three of them.

These are the sort of horrible politics going on around me that prompted me to post, because l am sure she would be equally unimpressed if they were renting and on housing benefit and DP eventually said enoughs enough and we need to rent a bigger house - my child needs their own room, meaning them falling foul of this rule and them both somehow having to find the extra money or do without things.

Wouldnt do much for family harmony in that house, can assure you.

claig Wed 30-Jan-13 21:36:55

This could be the straw that breaks the camel's back. It seems so unfair and yet they trumpet it as being "fair". It looks like they are all on board, I saw a LibDem on TV supporting it.

They probably think it will only affect mainly Labour voters and that teh rest of the country won't care. But I think they may have made a huge mistake on this. For forty years this was not tried and now they want to do it to save money.

Did they cut the salaries of the 'light touch regulators'? Did they fire any of them?

This seems like it is picking on poor people. It was never done before, but now they say it is "fair". To me it looks loke they don't care and I think the public may eventually think the same and kick them out next time over this issue.

sudaname Wed 30-Jan-13 21:39:11

Sorry Choc l know you've already explained the non resident parent didnt get housing benefit for their childs room as other parent gets it, but what l mean is do they now lose any more for having this spare room - are they any worse off at all under new system.

sudaname Wed 30-Jan-13 21:39:34

?

They are also bringing in a policy where the landlord has the right to legally evict you within 24 hours if your rent is not paidsad

claig Wed 30-Jan-13 21:47:35

I saw it on the news today and they had a housing association talking about it.

Not sure if I understand it fully, but it made me think that the private housing associations would make more money out of this as rents effectively rise for those with spare rooms.

Eventually we will see the injustices on our TV scrrens and this spells diasater for the "we're all in it together" message. The public might say "enough is enough".

garlicblocks Wed 30-Jan-13 21:55:26

TWENTY-FOUR HOURS???!!!

Good grief.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 21:55:28

Garlic they have sent several letters out to people who are exempt from the rule mostly pensioners who are petrified about it and clogging up support services needing (quite understandably ) reassurance.

Is your houses one of those that the LA sourced and allocated you? Can't remember what its called when the LA rent a house from a private landlord usually for temp accommodation and the tenants pays the LA not the private LL.

If so then yes you will get the 14% but if not and your in normal private renr then you shouldn't have the reduction but you will only get the LHA for the size house that HB say you need( the hb decided need is the important bit as as things stand at the mo actual housing allocation rules and the new HB rules could in some circumstances be contradictory)

As to the 2015 changes there are so many to do with discharge of duties it would be very hard to explain them all but I shall go and have a looksie now and see if I can find anything that explains it clearly.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 30-Jan-13 22:09:26

jakebullet "I think this is going to be their "poll tax"."

They have that covered with the withdrawal of council tax benefit. The new council tax support is as close to poll tax as it comes.
Oh, I wonder when all of these changes are taking place...are they staggered to help people to attempt to adjust...Nooooo, they all take effect from April 2013.

April is the start of a new level of poverty amongst the poor in this country.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 22:25:05

Reforming social housing
8. The Government recognises that it is time to change the social housing system. We need to ensure that the system is more obviously fair; that good, affordable housing is available for those who genuinely need it; and that we get the best value from our 4 million social rented homes.
9. We are making radical changes, removing counter-productive rules and allowing local authorities and landlords to take more sensible decisions about how to manage their housing.
10. We are also empowering tenants to take a more active role in the management of their homes, supporting them in tackling anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhood and helping people into home ownership.
11. We have introduced a programme of reform through the Localism Act, which will make changes to the way people access social housing, the types of tenancies that are provided and the way the homelessness duty is discharged.
12. While existing tenants will see no changes to their rights to lifetime tenancy and social rents, for new tenants we will give social landlords the flexibility they need to make the best use of their housing, in a way that best meets the needs of their local area.
13. Local authorities and landlords need to be able to better manage their waiting lists and allocate homes. New provisions in the Localism Act will remove the requirement that councils keep ‘open’ waiting lists.
14. Protection for the vulnerable will still be provided by the unchanged statutory ‘reasonable preference’ criteria, ensuring that households
in greatest need because of medical conditions, hardship or the lack of suitable alternative housing should receive priority.
15. Councils and housing associations will be
able to offer lifetime security of tenure where
it is needed, but to set shorter tenancy terms where that makes more sense. The Localism Act creates a new flexible tenancy for local authorities. This is in addition to, not replacing, secure and introductory tenancies.
16. Through changes to regulation, we propose to provide significantly increased freedom to all social landlords on the tenancies they can grant, subject to appropriate parameters and protections. The normal minimum length of tenancy will be five years, though tenancies of between two and five years will be allowed in exceptional circumstances.
17. Households who are capable of meeting their own housing needs should not be allocated social housing when so many other families are left on waiting lists. Guidance to local authorities will make it clear that we do not expect social homes to be allocated to people who don’t need them (for example those who already own a home that would be suitable for them to use), while at the same time those who are in genuine need should be prioritised (for example the families of armed service personnel – see chapter 6).
18. We are making it easier for people to move
– whether to look for work, or because of any other changes in their circumstances. A new programme – HomeSwap Direct – has been introduced, to enable social housing tenants to take greater control and to manage their own moves. Through HomeSwap Direct, tenants will have access to good web-based services that allow them to identify suitable properties anywhere
in the UK for the very first time. We intend to link HomeSwap Direct with the Department for Work and Pensions’ online information for people looking for work on Directgov. This will allow people looking for work to easily register for a home swap and search for suitable properties in the area where they have identified employment opportunities.
19. We need a sustained effort to increase opportunities for mobility. Changes we are making through the Localism Act will make it easier for councils to arrange transfers for existing tenants. The introduction of flexible tenure will, over
time, increase mobility and encourage tenants and

landlords to consider what is the most appropriate housing at the different life stages of tenants and their households.
20. The Government has supported work by
the Chartered Institute of Housing to share good practice among landlords about how to make best use of their housing stock, especially by supporting tenants who wish to move. And we are supporting a new programme of mobility ‘vanguards’: 12 local areas which will invest £1 million to investigate new methods of helping to support mobility.
21. Changes to the homelessness duty will allow greater flexibility and more sensible decision- making when helping homeless families. Currently, families who are accepted as homeless get priority access to social housing whether or not that is
the best solution to their housing need. We will allow councils to bring their homelessness duty
to an end with offers of suitable private sector accommodation, without requiring the agreement of the person owed the duty. Local authorities will continue to be able to end the homelessness duty with an offer of social housing if they decide that is the most appropriate outcome.
22. Local authorities will be free to use social housing more creatively to help people achieve stability and make progress in their lives.
Some authorities have already adapted their allocations policies to provide extra priority for households who are in work, or who make active contributions to their community. We want to
see this become more widespread, and will be encouraging councils to make sure that social housing supports work, rather than locking people into dependence.
Investment in affordable housing
23. With 4.5 million people on social housing waiting lists and first time buyers struggling to get a foot on the housing ladder, we also need to deliver more new affordable housing, both for rent and affordable home ownership. We are developing a programme of initiatives to increase the supply of affordable homes.
24. Government investment in affordable housing is an important part of our strategy for meeting the needs and aspirations of a large section of
the population. We support a range of different
affordable housing options – from affordable rented housing to affordable home ownership options, such as shared ownership and shared equity schemes.
25. To deliver this, we are working with a wide range of partners in both the public and private sectors.
26. We now have a framework in place that facilitates entry into the social housing sector
by a wider range of potential providers. Local authorities own 1.7 million homes while housing associations own and manage 2.4 million social rented homes in England; their assets, resources and knowledge of communities and local economies will continue to play a vital role in meeting the country’s housing needs.
27. We have committed nearly £4.5 billion investment in new affordable housing over the Spending Review period that ends in 2015. But the current fiscal environment and the need to address the public deficit means that the former model of funding affordable housing, with its heavy dependence on public grant, is no longer sustainable.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 22:26:57

meanwhile the propaganda machine is in full swing. I just posted this on the Feminism board but i think it should be here too.

DarkesteyesWed 30-Jan-13 22:21:21

JESUS i have just been to my fb home page and the hateful comments i have seen.
Apparently This Morning had a couple on there today who said it wasnt worth working blah <right wing propaganda> blah.
And the comments coming to my fb page are nasty sexist and mysogynistic to say the least.
An example...."Lazy sluts who see popping out sprogs as a moneymaker do not deserve child benefit" That is just one of the comments. Im so bloody fed up with this We have programmes like TM who are aimed at the same idiots who read things like Closer Heat and the Daily Mail. In fact one person on the thread linked to the Mail to prove their point.
Im so pissed off with fbs attitude to sexism and mysogyny i want to disable my account.
I did it once before 2 yrs ago but changed my mind several days later. I dont think i will change my mind this time.
Think this is my final straw. Why cant people see it FFS. Im so pissed off with the hateful mysogyny i see on fb from some users. I found this extremely upsetting tonight. End of the rope.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 22:28:55

That was taken directly from the gov's laying the foundations housing strategy paper.

Sorry for the long post but I didnt want to link to 88 pages of utter crap whilst only 2 are relevant to social housing.

But basicly they won't have to find you a social tenancy in your needed area they can send you elsewhere with a copy of the private rent ads for any where and there duty is discharged.

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 22:31:18

Sock thats bloody shocking. And 24 hrs notice to evict someone? MY GOD.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 30-Jan-13 22:35:03

You wait till you stumble apon the universal credit/ reform attempts they tried to get through about if you lost your job whilst on HB they would automaticity reduce you HB by 10% to punish you for being feckless.

Or the only being able to get HB for 2 years of you were in receipt of UC

Darkesteyes Wed 30-Jan-13 23:07:03

Newsnight NOW council tax benefit cuts.

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 31-Jan-13 13:09:55

Only being able to get HB for 2 years if you are on UC???
WTF??
The majority of HB claimants are working. What are we gonna do? The rents are not going to go down are they?(Although reducing rent was, allegedly, the reason for cutting HB. Hasn't worked, has it?)

The council tax cuts are another reason we have to move house.
It is amazing how few people who are not being affected are actually aware of all these cuts, and how severe they are.

I am personally poorer by about £50 a month since 2010. After the council tax cuts kick in It will be more like £80.
My wages have not risen, and food and heat and bus fares have gone up massively, so in real terms I reckon I am more than £100 a month worse off.
I will have to skimp on either heat, or food. Nothing else can go-I pay £15 a month for the internet and that is the only "non-essential" (although actually it is).

If I was not a lone parent I would happily try and get a bar job a few nights a week, or an after school cleaning job, to supplement my income, but I don't have the childcare.
Actually, though, where I live ANY part time job is like gold dust.

If I was unemployed I would have to find an extra £30 a month after the council tax cut. I don't know how that would be possible, since I already pay a substantial chunk of my child tax credit to cover the rent that the HB doesn't.
I really, really need to move before June, because if any of my circs change after June I will be moved over to UC, and I am shitting myself.

The thing is I am an intelligent, hard working, resourceful person. and yet this attack (and it does feel like an attack) is breaking me. I am on fucking anti depressants due to the stress and worry, and the uncertainty, not to mention the feeling of utter powerlessness.
I am so far from being a "poor me" person, and have always risen above adversity, but every day I get less and less optimistic.

I saw the This Morning propaganda too, and had to switch it off in rage.
I am just so fucking angry. This government has turned me from a moderate lefty, to a rampant militant Socialist.
Surely not the intention of the Tories, to create a whole new demographic of Socialist activists?

(In answer to your earlier question sockreturning, the 3 bed would be cheaper than the lha for a two bed.)

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 31-Jan-13 14:30:16

Then you will be able to claim the LHA for a two bed and as its cheaper than the LHA you will be fine. as long as the house is not allocated in any way by the LA, if your still worried you can ask for a pre tenancy determination.

You would be surprised at the volume of people who are impacted by UC who have no clue what going to happen to them in October this year,working people who have always worked who think they a safe.

Darkesteyes Thu 31-Jan-13 15:44:57

You would be surprised at the volume of people who are impacted by UC who have no clue what going to happen to them in October this year,working people who have always worked who think they a safe.

Sock some of them were making nasty comments last night and it was coming through my fb feed. And then in the next breath (after the slut shaming) one of them mentioned the fact that she is on working tax credit. She obviously spends her time reading Closer/Daily Mail/Woman delete as appropriate and watching Philip "sssh dont tell" Schofield and Holly Handmaiden on TM. Therefore im guessing she and others like her have no idea whats coming.
And when it hits you can bet they will expect support from the very people they are now vilifying!

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 31-Jan-13 19:41:25

Quite.

There going to be gobsmacked when they learn that they can be sent on workfare at 48 hours notice and if they refuse then sanction of HB WTC for 3 months first time and up to 3 years second time,even if they are due in paid work that day.

Perhaps you should tell them.all in the sprit of fore warning of course

aufaniae Thu 31-Jan-13 20:14:10

"Surely not the intention of the Tories, to create a whole new demographic of Socialist activists?"

The only positive I can glean from all this is that at least the changes are coming in, with enough time for them to start to bite before the general election.

I'm hoping it'll politicise the young and previously indifferent so we can get them out of power.

(Although it does make you wonder, what do they have planned for after the next election, should they get in again?! I really hope we never have the chance to find out.)

aufaniae Thu 31-Jan-13 20:20:29

Sockreturningpixie are you saying that working people who claim HB / WTC can be sent on workfare too?

Are you saying that working people are going to be made to do workfare?
I sure hope not, that would be wrong on many levelssad

expatinscotland Thu 31-Jan-13 21:04:04

From what I understand, yes, if they are deemed not to be working enough/enough hours.

garlicblocks Thu 31-Jan-13 21:49:01

I think not workfare, but plans at present do include sanctions if the DWP thinks you're not earning enough - and harassment encouragement to work more hours.

The DWP documents I read last autumn did say that all UC recipients who were not earning a full week's worth of minimum wage would be expected to get their earnings up to that level. If the DWP thinks it's found you a better-paid job (ie, full time on NMW) it would be empowered to make you do it even if the job was temporary. It could demand that you spend 35 hours a week looking for work on its shite new website, which will track your visits and activity. The jobcentre could call you in for meetings at any time, to find out what you're doing about getting your earnings up and you would have to attend, even if you were due in at work.

Some of this will be revised. Universal Credit is still being made up as they go along. You might find these Telegraph articles interesting:
textual harassment
2 million will better off refusing work - interesting, as Cameron says 1 million will be better off working! Numpties.

This is a good article: How UC will destroy part-time work.

garlicblocks Thu 31-Jan-13 22:00:19

The government still doesn't seem to have noticed that there aren't enough jobs for people who are actively looking. If I were dead cynical, I might think this is just to get all the low-paid vacancies filled, then they can herd all the remaining unemployed into some micro-managed workfare pool.

However, I'm trying to sort out my own benefits farrago atm and the anxiety's making me very ill. So I'll look on the positive side and suggest that maybe the govt's going to force employers to hire more people, possibly by flooding them with texts and phone calls grin

aufaniae Thu 31-Jan-13 22:33:08

I knew about that bit - I think many part-time workers will indeed be very surprised when they find themselves treated like "dole scum".

It also applies to the self-employed. IIRC if you're not earning the equivalent of minimum wage after the first year of your new business, and are getting tax credits / HB, then you'll be required to prove what you're doing to find work.

That's totally at odds with any advice on new businesses. If you're breaking even after the first year that's meant to be good isn't it? No wonder they've axed the "Business Link" website (really good - for once! - government website giving advice on setting up your own business). It would have been dishing out totally contradictory advice to UC guidance.

garlicblocks Thu 31-Jan-13 22:52:12

Oh, I wondered what had happened to Business Link!

Yes, and did you see the rules about costs? They're only allowing you to offset costs in the month you incur them (again, opposite to normal business practice.) So, if you buy a £10k van one month and earn £5k that month, you put down a zero income - not a net loss of £5k. The following month's earnings are income, the other half of the van cost doesn't matter. Thus your earnings will appear much higher than they really are, so you'll lose benefits faster.

It'll be like Christmas for leasing companies, I guess, but you can't lease consumables like stationery and raw materials.

Also the jobcentre staff will be going through your books, making recommendations which you will have to follow. I'm sure that'll be jolly constructive.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 01-Feb-13 00:44:48

With the workfare thing whilst its not actually called workfare

Until you earn the equivalent of 35 hours at NMW each week or your family unit does even if you earn that doing two hours a week then you will be classed as under employed and they can put you in a work support group system this can mean being

Forced to attend meetings with DWP staff or any agent acting on there behalf
Going on employability courses / groups ones that tell you not to pierce your forehead and not to tattoo your face ect
Attending agent based work support program's ( made up name for fecking workfare).

And shit loads of other things the DWP thinks is reasonable, one of the things being discussed is forcing under employed parents to put over ones in full time childcare so you can actively job seek for more hours.

They can force you to leave a job you Have done for years where your hours are contracted and you are protected by employment law for a fecking zero hour contract if they have decent reason to believe you may get more hours doing it even if you won't.

And it apply to every one who gets any top up benefits ( yep hb and wtc) if they earn less than NMW x 35 each week.

garlicblocks Fri 01-Feb-13 00:51:26

Sheesh. it's way worse than I thought, Sock!

It's going to be chaos.

fortyplus Fri 01-Feb-13 01:01:38

What about the fact that many people currently receiving help with Council Tax are going to lose part of that, too?

I work for a social landlord and we're estimating that rent arrears are going to treble over the next few years.

Darkesteyes Fri 01-Feb-13 01:08:32

Those right wing people frothing on my fb feed sure have a big shock coming. One of the more recent comments is "why should they be paid for pleasure"
Thats what the young mum on there said about SAHMs who happen to be claiming benefits.
She herself is working part time and claiming tax credits. The hypocrisy is mind blowing.
Hmm maybe i will stay on fb for a bit longer at least for a few more months anyhow.
Just to see the complete fucking about turn they are going to do. If any of them are expecting any sympathy from me they wont be getting any.
Incidentally the young woman who started the discussion is an ex work colleaugue.So the comments underneath that appeared on my feed arent from people i know. And i dont really class her as a friend. More of an ex acquaintance.
I am fucking disgusted with the lot of them. There was one bloke on there who even linked to a daily mail article with IDS face on it to "prove his point" so i had IDS smug face on my feed as well. UGH.
Sorry i will stop now. I just needed to rant.

Darkesteyes Fri 01-Feb-13 01:10:44

The woman who said "why should they be paid for pleasure" she meant sexual pleasure . Mysogyny AND classism. You couldnt make it up!

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 01-Feb-13 06:56:07

Don't fret about rent arrears fourtyplus there trying to cut off any HB after 2 years anyway so everybody effected will be homeless.

Homeless people don't tend to run up rent arrears.

Dark, I'm not sure I understand the sexual pleasure comment does she think that any SAHP spend all day having sex? Anyways amuse yourself tell her she's going to have problems with UC and freak her out by posting a link to the dwp UC info.that will teach her about not sticking IDS on her wall.

Lets hope they are voted out in 2 yrs thenangry.
I for one voted labour last election & i'm voting for them again.
I know they did wrong by getting into debt, but atleast they are a party that are dedicated to people not just numbers.

Darkesteyes Fri 01-Feb-13 23:27:37
IneedAsockamnesty Sat 02-Feb-13 01:51:53

A little birdy told me that there were a disproportionate amount of housing officers heading towards London a few weeks ago,

Quite funny but legend has it that a few of them met up,what a coincidence wink

Darkesteyes Sat 02-Feb-13 01:56:27

wink

fortyplus Sat 02-Feb-13 09:52:06

Sockreturningpixie - exactly - there will be increasing numbers of people falling into arrears and facing eviction. No social landlord wants to see that scenario. Add to that the proposals that benefits get paid direct to claimants and the most vulnerable people who are least able to manage their own finances are the ones who will suffer first.

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