Now the Bedroom tax hits Domestic violence victims as 'panic rooms' are levied(105 Posts)
Terrified victims of domestic violence are being forced to pay the Bedroom Tax on “panic rooms” in their homes.
The ultra-secure spaces are only created by councils when tenants are known to be at real risk of attack from their brutal ex-partners.
Despite this, hundreds of women are now being told their potentially life-saving sanctuaries will cost them a chunk of their housing benefit.
The panic rooms – spare bedrooms with strong bolts on the doors and bars on the windows – are provided so women can flee there with their children if under attack. Many have a direct phone line to the police.
But data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that 281 households in these “sanctuary” schemes have been told to pay around £14 a week extra. The problem is worst in the north east of England where a quarter of homes with panic rooms have been hit with charges.
Campaigners are now calling for a change in the hated new regulations forced through by Tory Work And Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
Polly Neate of Women’s Aid said: “The Bedroom Tax is putting women and children at risk. It took no note of the difficulties survivors of domestic violence face in moving and at a time when there is a severe lack of safe, smaller properties for them to move into.”
The controversial new charges are also hitting kidney dialysis patients who treat themselves at home, even though they save the NHS an average £15,000 a year by not going to hospital.
Nick Palmer of the National Kidney Federation, which is already dealing with dozens of such cases, said: “We are very disappointed these very vulnerable people, who often can’t work, are being penalised for saving the NHS a lot of money.
“Dialysis at home is very cost-effective. And it’s not just the saving of time in hospital. There are reduced transport costs and less complications.”
Government ministers claim the charge will save £490million a year and free up badly-needed larger properties.But the new charge is hitting vulnerable people such as the disabled, who often need an extra room.
Anna Bird of the disability charity Scope said: “For the vast majority of disabled people these are not spare bedrooms, these are essential rooms. We’ve spoken to disabled people who aren’t able to share a specially-adapted bed with their partner so they sleep in a separate room.
“But they are being forced to move or find the extra cash they don’t have to pay their rent. Many are struggling to make ends meet and getting in debt just to pay for essentials.”
Two-thirds of households affected by the new tax cannot find the cash to pay their rent, according to the National Housing Federation.
In a survey of 183 housing associations the federation found 66 per cent of their residents affected were in arrears.
More than 522,000 people on housing benefit have had it reduced by an average of £14.50 a week .Another 92,000 had their benefits cut for having two “excess” bedrooms, losing around £23.43 a week.
Jez....next the 'bedroom tax' will be responsible for world hunger.
Just think if Labour had not let in 2 million economic migrants to work, only built just over 100,000 homes a year, and as SHELTERS figures showed that during the 'boom', there was still a waiting list of 1.7 million people needing council/social housing before a socialist government left office.
More homes, less stress on households, extra rooms for everyone.
Why can't they sleep in a panic room? They are a spare bed room. I don't understand why just because there is a bolt on the door they cannot fit a small bed in a panic room. Why on earth not? The bolt on the door does not stop someone sleeping in the room surely?
Spectacularly missing the point there, Jane. Is it too hard to work out that the issue is about rooms which, for various good reasons, can't be used as bedrooms?
As for Isitmebut, that's just an excuse for failing to confront the reality of the evil of the bedroom tax. If you want to blame politicians, why are you leaving the sell-off of council homes out of the discussion? Oh, silly me, could that because it was a Conservative policy?
Why can't it be used as a bed room just because it has a lock on the door? If it were only capable of standing up in it - like a toilet cubicle I could understand the objection but these are bedrooms with locks on the door.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Surely you could just keep the door open then? Why should tax payers pay a fortune just because someone wants a door shut all the time? We've already paid the money to reinforce the door out of state funds.
> Surely you could just keep the door open then? Why should tax payers pay a fortune just because someone wants a door shut all the time?
Tax payers are not 'paying a fortune'.
The Bedroom Tax is unlikely to save any money in the long run, in fact it is already being reported that the project savings are negative.
These are domestic violence victims we're talking about. If the state can't provide help in this case, then it is a failed state.
> We've already paid the money to reinforce the door out of state funds
Lots of things cost money out of state funds. Healthcare, roads, fire service, garbage collection, etc. etc. It's called living in a civlized society.
Why can only spare rooms be designated as panic rooms? Why can't councils just put the extra safety measures on a room that is already used as a bedroom?
I'm with you when it comes to disabled or ill people, but I can't see the problem with not subsidising spare rooms just because they have extra locks on them.
I guess that the issue is that the panic room has been set up and paid for. If the occupier was to move to a house with the right number of rooms the that house would need an expensive panic room installed. By I don't know how much a panic room costs to install or whether there are actually houses/flats with the right number of rooms available. I assume that you can't install a panic room I'm a privately rented house.
Panic rooms have bars across the window, they're supposed to be difficult to break into. Now imagine if a fire breaks out in the middle of the night and the panic room is the main bedroom, fire is on the landing.
I refused to have a panic room fitted in my house as the thought of being locked into a room whilst ex was trying to get into attack us was just utterly terrifying. I don't live in social housing, it's offered to women who have suffered DV and are at real risk of it happening again.
Nennypops…blaming the Conservatives for the LACK of social housing due to them originally giving people the right to buy, is frankly pathetic.
Especially when you see Shelters figures below – where under Labour from 1998 to 2007, the number of social homes declined by 10% - despite THE LABOUR SECRET IMMIGRATION POLICY, not the Conservatives.
The parliamentary Labour Party had an uninterrupted 13-years in power, with over 100-seat majorities to be ‘in touch’ with the peoples social needs AND had the money/debt to do something about it, but despite their own immigration policy, they chose to blow it on fat inefficient government e.g. a Quangocracy costing £170 billion.
Why do people not question those ‘in touch’ Labour’s priorities during the Brown ‘boom’, rather than policies trying to free up unused bedrooms, after the Brown ‘bust’ when all the money had gone and left us as a country spending £157 billion than we brought in?
Social housing supply – by SHELTER
“There are more than 3.8 million social homes in England. The number of social homes declined by 10 per cent between 1998 and 2007.
"However, the number of new lettings19 fell by one third during the same period (see Table 6). As a result,households in housing need have to wait longer as fewer homes become available."
"At the end of March 2008 there were 1.77 million households on local authority housing registers (or housing waiting lists) for the allocation of a social home."
Even if Labour had built more 1-bedroomed homes, at least those in 2 or 3 bed roomed currently wanting to move but cannot, would be able to do so - which was the main point of the plan, to help those families in overcrowded dwellings, mainly DUE to Labour's policies (or lack of them).
some responses on this thread and threads like it make me sad to be human
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Did you see that talking arsehole Festher McVapid lying through her teeth on the news? Apparently this was never about saving money, it was about freeing up housing! Vile creatures, the lot of them, blaming the poor for the problems caused by their corporate backers.
When are you going to admit that you're a paid Tory propagandist, isitmebut?
Every post you make is a diversion to try to criticise Labour and promote the Tories.
Every single line you take is exactly the Tory party line.
You're dishonest and misleading. You lie to your readers.
Eh? Why are posters claiming panic rooms can only be spare rooms?
As the article says, in the NE a quarter of people with panic rooms are affected. Ie three-quarters are not, ie don't have any spare rooms, ie are using the panic room as an ordinary room as well.
The point of the bedroom tax is to force people to move out of their homes, if the home is deemed "too large" for the moment. So very obviously people whose home has been adapted (panic room, disability accessibility) will be adversely affected.
What were posters expecting to happen?
Labour's secret immigration policy? What the actual fuck? Don't be so fucking ridiculous <says Immigration solicitor>.
The answers on this thread help the Coalition's policies (and that's a good thing).
If the mother with the panic room cannot move to another smaller place with one why can't the council move another new mother and baby into the other spare room? That would surely solve the issue.
And if council tenants think they are entitled to better conditions than many of us have - I would imagine most private houses don't have great fire precautions - then that shows how badly this country has gone wrong. It can't be that hard to ensure the window opens or a vent in it.
LOL at 'talking arsehole'. She so is.
Moving 2 women at risk of domestic violence in together would double their chances of being harmed. Instead of one dangerous man after them, there'd be two. I doubt anyone would house share with me because my X could hurt them too.
And those babies would soon be too big to share with their mothers and need moving again.
But hey, to hell with those entitled council house tenants eh?
This is so completely arse backward it's unbelievable.
The cost of fitting a panic room is high, if the victim is required to move they will still need a panic room - the cost of this is likely to exceed £14 per week if the room is still needed.
ttosca…why does the truth have to come from a ‘Tory ‘propagandist’, surely the tricksy ones are those that brag the are ‘in touch with the people’ but want to hide the truth - to cover their abysmal record in power – spending page after page, trying to deflect blame elsewhere for coalition policies to try compensate for Labours?
Take your “Social Housing Decline – the blame lies within” as a perfect example of deflection.
Not providing enough NET new homes for ‘the people’ during normal population growth MAY be (arguably) forgivable, despite the money available – but WHY are you choosing not to focus on the open door migration, planned by Labour, that UK housing starts DID NOT provide for?
What I cannot understand is why if as part of the EU, to paraphrase Mr Farage, when we could have 485 million arrive here from the EU – did Labour feel the need to annually often bring in nearly twice as many from the Commonwealth and ‘other’ as from the EU, according to the figures below showing around 500,000 came in each year?
This is not being racist, but if you have to post page after page of micro drivel, blaming the ‘Conservative scum’ for trying emergency measures to try and utilise spare bedrooms for those that need them, I believe the readers should have the truth, not your twaddle trying to show coalition measures are somehow class driven.
So you tell me, what was the ‘in touch with the people benefits’ of allowing to settle/work in the UK, hundreds of thousands of NON EU CITIZENS on top of the EU citizens, when we had such high long term and youth unemployment rates and were only building just over 100,000 homes a year????
Come on ttttttttttttosca, show me just how 'in touch' those policies were, as it you cannot challenge the facts, then by definition, the misleading and lies here, are from you.
> ttosca…why does the truth have to come from a ‘Tory ‘propagandist’, surely the tricksy ones are those that brag the are ‘in touch with the people’ but want to hide the truth - to cover their abysmal record in power – spending page after page, trying to deflect blame elsewhere for coalition policies to try compensate for Labours?
You're the only one here playing the partisan blame game. I correct your posts because I think you're lying, not because I want Labour to win. By blaming Labour for everything, you are deflecting the real cause the social and economic problems we are experiencing today. The problem is much wider than any of the main political parties. The problem is neo-liberal ideology, and it is global.
> Take your “Social Housing Decline – the blame lies within” as a perfect example of deflection.
Your post is a perfect example of deflection: You made a misleading claim, and now you want to change the topic to Labour's immigration policy.
The fact is, whatever Labour's immigration policy (and you've also been corrected on that matter as well, since it's been pointed out to you that immigrants can't vote nationally), social housing has been in decline for three decades.
The remainder of your post is more diversionary tactics to try to detract from your lies.
> This is not being racist, but if you have to post page after page of micro drivel,
This is exactly what you do.
> blaming the ‘Conservative scum’ for trying emergency measures to try and utilise spare bedrooms for those that need them, I believe the readers should have the truth, not your twaddle trying to show coalition measures are somehow class driven.
The Bedroom tax is a bad policy and failure by every measure. It is not likely raise money. It is increasingly homelessness and indebetitude, and only 6% of tenants have been forced out of their homes. There are not enough houses with fewer rooms in which to move in to.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.