Bedroom Tax: A Letter Everyone Should Read

(140 Posts)
SameDifference Sun 10-Feb-13 02:32:49
CloudsAndTrees Mon 11-Feb-13 20:56:14

Here is what is wrong: because in many cases, the only way to downsize is to go for a privately rented home.

Lots of people affected will already be in privately rented homes. There are already many people who should be entitled to social housing but that can't get it who are having to pay more than they can afford.

The problem isn't people only being given the money they need to house themselves without being given any extras, the problem is that we don't have enough housing.

Skyebluesapphire Mon 11-Feb-13 21:06:03

I know of a retired man who was in a four bed house on his own, private rental, two living rooms, 2 bathrooms, Quite rightly they said that he only required a one bed place so cut his benefit and he had to move.

If he could have afforded it he could have stayed there but he couldn't. I don't see why housing benefit should pay for more than you actually need.

plum100 Mon 11-Feb-13 21:55:59

So is it true then that if u are over 60 it doesnt apply? How is that fair?

expatinscotland Mon 11-Feb-13 21:56:54

61, plum.

ProtegeMoi Mon 11-Feb-13 22:06:23

Well said mrs devere!

My son is 8 years old and has multiple disabilities, he has previously tried to suffocate his sister, he is extremely violent at times and as such social services fitted out a bedroom for him complete with padding, shatter proof windows and alarms on the door. They say my son is to NEVER share a room as the risk to the other child is too great.

The council however now tell me my son is not entitled to his own room, I need to downsize and he can share with his sister who he tried to suffocate. They say social services have no authority, they say its tough that my son has problems. I am faced with either downsizing and putting my daughter in a very dangerous situation or paying for my sons room, money I just do not have.

This will not free up homes, it will make people with disabled children (a huge number of which live in poverty) even poorer having been forced to pay due to their child's needs.

2old2beamum Mon 11-Feb-13 22:13:50

OR ProteegeMoi they will put their disabled DC's in care

Viviennemary Mon 11-Feb-13 22:20:55

All this bedroom rule means is that each person living in a house larger than their requirements will have to pay some of their rent themselves. And it really is a small amount. It is not a tax. It is a reduction in benefit. And this lady only has to pay the subsidy until she is 60. Which is in one year's time. Unless I have misunderstood the stituation. +

2old2beamum Mon 11-Feb-13 22:24:41

If you are ona small budget it is a lot of money

aufaniae Mon 11-Feb-13 22:25:24

"All this bedroom rule means is that each person living in a house larger than their requirements will have to pay some of their rent themselves. And it really is a small amount. It is not a tax. It is a reduction in benefit."

People like the woman who wrote this letter are so short of money they don't have the heating on. What are they supposed to pay some of their rent themselves with, their food money?!

drjohnsonscat Mon 11-Feb-13 22:25:44

I do think there are cases where this policy is really damaging - the cases where there are people with disabilities who need carers to stay or need extra space to accommodate the extra needs.

But I know a woman in exactly this situation who didn't work because she looked after her children (one who needed additional care) and then her (older) husband who died leaving a mortgage that she has no way of paying. She will be moving out of her already very small flat they all shared into a one bed as soon as she can sell up and realise enough equity to buy something else. She wants to stay but she can't. She's also on a very low income and is now of pensionable age and has no way of increasing her income. I struggle to see how to square the circle between the lady who wrote the letter and my friend - the only difference is that one had a council flat and one didn't but they are both having to move, leave everything they know and start a different life.

I really don't have any answers - there are clearly situations where people are in properties that are too big for them and there is a shortage out there and we ought to find away to aportion scarce resources as well as we can. But that's really hard to do without creating sad cases like this. Perhaps that's just life because it's what's happening to my friend who is unaffected by this policy but just facing new and reduced circumstances after bereavement.

Viviennemary Mon 11-Feb-13 22:49:10

I read that people with a disability will not be subject to this rule. I also don't have any answers. But people who can't afford to pay their mortgage must downsize. And are really in a much worse position, because if they cannot sell their house they get deeper and deeper in debt and in negative equity. I agree that clearly there are situations where local authorities make a sensible decision based on the needs of the people in question.

Darkesteyes Mon 11-Feb-13 22:59:43

Plum going by the principles that YOU CHOOSE to go by surely someone over 61 would have paid in more than you have.
You are contradicting yourself there!!

Phineyj Mon 11-Feb-13 23:01:33

How can you have half a bedroom? confused

expatinscotland Mon 11-Feb-13 23:02:28

'I read that people with a disability will not be subject to this rule. I also don't have any answers. But people who can't afford to pay their mortgage must downsize.'

You read wrong. There's a discretionary fund. There's no guarantee a person will get it and once it's gone ,it's gone!

And people who can't afford to pay their mortgage can get help. Those links have been provided on this thread.

MrsDeVere Mon 11-Feb-13 23:03:05

People with disabilities WILL be subject to this rule.

plum100 Mon 11-Feb-13 23:09:57

Darkest eyes - iprobably am !! None of it makes sense to me - how its is fair that homeowners can struggle and yetpeople on hbcan have emdless children (some not all) - how is it sensible to make a family downsize due to kids ages only to have to upsize again in a few uears time? How is it fair that a 60 yr ol who is still able to provide an imcome for themselves doesnt have to pay but a parent of a disabled child that cant pay/ work would have to ? It all seems a bit bonkers and actually unfair on lots of different people in different situation - almost too bonkers to actually happen -

Darkesteyes Mon 11-Feb-13 23:13:57

Plum this is why they are doing it. Divide and rule. To turn people against each other. I didnt realise it doesnt apply to those over 60.

drjohnsonscat Mon 11-Feb-13 23:16:23

I had absolutely no idea those benefits existed so thanks for those links. I'm sure my friend doesn't either so that's really good to know. On a brief glance I'm tempted to think she should move anyway to somewhere she can sustain - I think it would actually be unhelpful for her for various reasons to be clinging on for dear life when she could just downsize and not be dependent on the whim of the benefits minister but she can make that decision herself when she's got all the info.

Darkesteyes Mon 11-Feb-13 23:17:22

Old post of mine from last months thread.

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.

Darkesteyes Mon 11-Feb-13 23:19:14

plum DH and i dont have any children

Gomez Mon 11-Feb-13 23:21:39

Where are the next ill, late middle-aged not able to work and need support couple going to be housed?

fatfloosie Wed 13-Feb-13 11:50:28

It’s kind of hard to feel sympathy for her when she says “I have considered moving but the only property available is far from shops and bus stops and costs £98 per month more than where I am at present.” Welcome to the world of the private rental where a one bedroom property costs £98 per month more than a two bedroom social housing property and probably doesn’t have a garden either.

I don’t think she understands that if she moved to this property she would have to find that extra £98 herself. (From information in a Mirror article she lives in Newbury and her rent is £123 a week which puts her at the limit of the LHA for a one bedroom property in Newbury which is £121.15 a week or £524.98 a month. So if she moved to the more expensive one bedroom property she wouldn’t have a £17 a week HB deduction but would have to make up a nearer £24.50 a week shortfall instead, so would be a further £7.50 per week worse off in a smaller property with no security of tenure.) Perhaps if she was aware of that she might have counted the blessings of her social housing property a little more.

I would have far more sympathy with Mrs Jones if her letter had been less hysterical. “I realise I am lucky to have this property and I don’t mind paying a bit but £17 a week is too much” (which it is) would have been far more effective. As it is it shrieks of entitlement and not realising that many many people are much worse off.

I do think the flat rate deductions are particularly unfair on single people and it should be capped at a maximum of 7% per occupant per spare bedroom.

JuliaScurr Wed 13-Feb-13 12:40:34

<APPLAUDS PARSING> ( in shouty capitals)

Anyone remember bailing out banks? Anyone remember the failed mansion tax? Or the tax cut for those earning £1 million p/a? Or Philip Green salting his fortune away in Monaco with his wife so paying no tax?

Any cash forthcoming from them? No? Oh well, pick on some disabled widows instead then.

God Almighty. What kind of country is this?

Council housing shouldn't be the last resort of the desperate any more than the NHS is

Saski Wed 13-Feb-13 12:47:18

Julia I agree with your comment re: bank bailouts. But surely you're not suggesting that council housing should be as freely accessible as socialized health care. That's madness.

MrsDeVere Wed 13-Feb-13 14:35:43

Why do people think 'private renting is really hard, council renting is really easy, so we should make council renting really hard as well' ?

I just do not get that mean attitude.

Surely we should be making private rental more secure and affordable. Most people would prefer to private rent, you get to choose where you live and that means what floor, not on an estate etc.

But no, in this society its all about 'I cant have it so no-one should'

bizarre..

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