York Green Party

Call for ‘no evictions’ guarantee over bedroom tax

12 April 2013

Green Group leader, Andy D'Agorne has called on City of York Council to follow the lead of Green-led Brighton and Hove and guarantee that no council tenant will be evicted because they are unable to pay rent as a result of housing benefit cuts imposed by the Lib Dem-Tory Coalition's ‘bedroom tax’.

Cllr D’Agorne said “While the cut to housing benefit is supposed to encourage

tenants to downsize to smaller accommodation, this is very difficult when there are very few smaller properties available in the area. This cut is causing people huge amounts of distress and will lead to some people being forced to change their children’s schools, move away from family support and possibly end up homeless”.

He added “We support Council efforts to encourage tenants who have unused rooms to move to other accommodation where available, to promote more affordable housing and to extend existing properties to create more space where there is overcrowding. This is the way forward rather than colluding with this ill-thought out Government legislation, which is set to increase homelessness and social breakdown”.

Cllr D’Agorne tabled a question at the recent Full Council Meeting on Thursday 28th March calling on Cabinet member Tracy Simpson Laing to join other authorities in making the ‘no evictions’ commitment.

NOTES:

  • Authorities including Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Islington, Dundee, East Lothian and other Scottish councils have so far made the ‘no evictions’ commitment.
  • The Government say that the aim of the new tax is to encourage more efficient use of social housing. But across the North of England families with a spare room outnumber overcrowded families by 3 to 1 (Guardian 01/04/13), meaning that overall a far greater number of people than is required are being pushed into either moving or using money out of their food, clothing and heating budget to pay for their rent. There are already instances of people deciding to move over 100 miles away to find accommodation they can afford.
  • Working age claimants deemed to have one spare bedroom in social housing will lose 14% of their housing benefit, those with two or more will lose 25%.
  • Two-thirds of the people hit by the bedroom tax are disabled.






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