Disabled woman to be evicted from specially adapted home due to bedroom tax

(47 Posts)
hettienne Thu 22-Aug-13 11:31:09

www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/bedroom-tax-disabled-mum-of-two-lorraine-2204216

I find this whole bedroom tax situation appalling, but particularly that it disproportionately affects disabled people - I actually find it hard to believe it is legal! I have read that 100,000 people are in this woman's position - living in specially adapted homes, so have nowhere to move too.

HeySoulSister Thu 22-Aug-13 11:43:07

The tenant in question has consistently refused to fully engage with us and has repeatedly refused to apply for a discretionary housing payment which may help to alleviate her situation.

in this case,i think there is more to it....why didn't she do this??

Viviennemary Thu 22-Aug-13 11:46:44

I haven't heard of this. But I agree why doesn't she take advantage of the help available. It's just a making a point excercise.

FasterStronger Thu 22-Aug-13 11:50:17

also is the children's father making a full financial contribution to the household for the 17 yo?

is the 19 yo making a financial contribution?

hettienne Thu 22-Aug-13 11:51:11

Which she denies HeySoul.

I know someone who was in a similar situation who was told she could apply for a discretionary payment, but it would only be for a few months and wasn't a long term solution - she'd have to keep reapplying, and there were no guarantees she'd get it. Few people want to live with that level of stress and uncertainty.

From the article it looks like this woman wanted the council to recognise she is exempt from the bedroom tax as she has nowhere to go.

hettienne Thu 22-Aug-13 11:53:23

Surely the point isn't that she isn't sufficiently jumping through the hoops in front of her, but that we have such a ridiculous situation that hundreds of thousands of disabled people are at risk of losing their homes, or have to pay extra to live in the adapted homes the council put them in?

There isn't enough money available in the discretionary funds to cover everyone. Most people affected are disabled or have disabled children.

Viviennemary Thu 22-Aug-13 11:55:32

I posted before reading the article. blush Now I have read it I agree that this person shouldn't be affected by this. She should be exempt. I apologise.

HeySoulSister Thu 22-Aug-13 11:55:58

lotsof people are affected,not just disabled people.....the whole concept is going to affect lots of people

don't know how she can deny being offered the help. she could apply NOW

hettienne Thu 22-Aug-13 12:04:30

Most people affected are disabled - off the top of my head the figures were something like 600,000 people in total, of which 400,000 were disabled or living with disabled children, and 100,000 of those were people living in specially adapted properties.

niceguy2 Thu 22-Aug-13 15:04:21

>>>and has repeatedly refused to apply for a discretionary housing payment which may help to alleviate her situation<<<

I think that's the key statement here. I can't help but wonder why this is the case. Her defence is to say " I have tried to convince them that I am not eligible for the bedroom tax but they are not interested"

But the council can't just say "oh ok, we'll take your word for it!"

I'd have a lot more sympathy had she done so and it have been rejected/insufficient.

But in short she hasn't even tried.

edam Thu 22-Aug-13 16:44:29

It's cruel and ridiculous. What a waste of public money, putting in the adaptations, then evicting the person they are designed for, re-housing the person then in the end having to adapt another property - quite apart from the sheer misery endured by this woman.

The discretionary housing payment is not a solution. It is discretionary, so there are no guarantees, I understand it is a limited pot, so if you are last in the queue, tough shit, and there are also no guarantees it will be there next year, or have the same funds next year.

I'd take the council's defence with a pinch of salt - of course they are going to attempt to justify their actions.

niceguy2 Thu 22-Aug-13 17:30:16

By the same virtue then I'd also take what tenant said with the same pinch of salt. It's only fair. After all, she'll want to justify her own actions too won't she? It's basic human nature to try to justify your own actions.

It seems to me though that her disability isn't even directly relevant to the issue at hand.

According to the council she's got 2 free bedrooms. Except in reality she hasn't because she's two grown up kids. Now I know the paper says they are 'students'. But of what? I know uni students get exempted. Not sure how it works for a 17yr old studying say A levels though?

But I'd feel differently if her eldest was say studying photography, once a week at college on a non-academic course.

hettienne Thu 22-Aug-13 17:39:46

This is an issue quite close to me because I have a friend in the same situation. She's a single mother with two (same sex) children, so only qualifies for a 2 bed flat - which she had. Then she became disabled and less than 2 years ago the council spent £30,000 adapting a 4 bedroom house for her. Well guess what is happening to her now?

Yes, she can apply for the discretionary fund and hope for the best, keep reapplying, try to manage her disability (which makes filling in lengthy forms hard for her), keep her children looked after, keep a roof over their heads. But why? Why should she be put through all this shit and stress - what does it achieve, in her case, this case in the paper, or for the thousands of other disabled people going through it?

FasterStronger Thu 22-Aug-13 18:22:18

hettienne - no wonder we have financial problems in the UK if the council put a 3 person family in a 4 bedroom house.

no only is the cost greater for the tax payer, but also the tenant to heat/maintain etc. and the size of the house might have increased the adaption costs.

hettienne Thu 22-Aug-13 21:47:54

The house needed to be four bedrooms due to the space lost to a lift and to widening hallways - there were no 3 bed houses available that were big enough to accommodate the necessary adaptations. The 4th "bedroom" is actually a dining room.

edam Thu 22-Aug-13 22:18:07

And that's what your friend is up against hettienne, the superficial appeal of this stupid, expensive, cruel policy.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 23-Aug-13 07:56:05

The bedroom tax is supposed to save money, but even the government knows it will end up costing a fuckload more. Hitting a disabled person for £20 a week versus shelling out hundreds in B&B costs for her and her kids? All for a failed ideology. It's sick and should be repealed.

FasterStronger Fri 23-Aug-13 08:58:00

hettienne - my father was unable to control his arms or legs or sit up, to I am aware of the adaptions required for severe disability, and I still think the council spends our money badly.

the idea the council could not find/build a more suitable property is just unbelievable. of course its not your friends fault. but it is another example of pisspoor controls on council spending.

I have never heard anyone spending their own money say they just had to buy/rent a much bigger house than they wanted/needed because nothing smaller was available and yet this is a sizable problem for councils.

hettienne Fri 23-Aug-13 09:17:26

Sorry, you think it would be cheaper for the council to build a new, slightly smaller property than to use an empty, existing one to adapt?

Sleepshmeep Fri 23-Aug-13 09:51:08

And to throw someone out after those adaptations have already been funded? To where?
A smaller property which will likely need £££ spent on adaptations?

Bonkers.

I do agree though, the woman in the article does need to apply for discretionary help short term, and seek legal advice if the council are not listening to her case for exemption. But what a load of unnecessary stress.

I don't understand why there is a discretionary "pot". Surely those entitled to discretionary payments should simply be made exempt? confused

niceguy2 Fri 23-Aug-13 09:53:52

Yeah the 'bedroom tax' is another one of those ideas from the Tories which is a great idea in theory but piss poorly implemented.

They should have exempted people such as the lady in the article and in my opinion included pensioners instead. Many of them are in homes much larger than they need.

But we all know politically the Tories will never touch pensioners since that is their core voter.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 23-Aug-13 09:54:46

This kind of story gives me the RAGE.

Public money was (rightly) spent adapting this woman's home.

So now we are going to waste it by increasing her rent so she can no longer afford to live there?

FasterStronger Fri 23-Aug-13 09:54:55

yes. because then you can take a family out of expensive B&B and into the other 4 bed house.

when housing is so expensive, using it badly will never be a cheap option and you are kidding yourself if you think it is.

hettienne Fri 23-Aug-13 09:57:25

Surely the solution then is to build more 4 bedroom houses for the large families in B&Bs?

FasterStronger Fri 23-Aug-13 10:01:53

so more properties can be mismanaged?

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