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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Benefits change blamed for slump in demand of three-bedroom homes

The county’s most popular size of social housing has now become the least desirable thanks to the proposed ‘bedroom tax’, a housing association claims.

Riverside, Carlisle’s largest social landlord, has seen a U-turn in the attitude of people searching for new homes which it attributes to the proposed tax.

The Government is cutting the housing benefit of people of working age who are deemed to be “under-occupying” rented properties.

It aims to free up larger properties for bigger families in an attempt to ease overcrowding.

However, this means someone deemed to have two “spare” bedrooms will be £1,300 a year worse off.

Pam Birks, head of property services for Riverside, said: “Three bedroom houses were the most popular and in demand.

“There has been a noticeable decline in applications for three-bedroom homes.”

Last week the housing association advertised two three-bedroom houses, but had just one applicant for each.

Ms Birks continued: “The changes to housing benefit and under-occupancy also relate to the change that children under-16 of the same sex are expected to share [a bedroom], and children under 10 of either sex are expected to share.

“This means that where someone would have been eligible to apply for a three-bedroom home if they had two children, they are now only eligible for a two-bedroom property.”

The housing association said it needs to wait to see the full impact of the reforms, and whether this could see an influx of people applying for homes when their children turn 16.

It is now calling for a “rigorous evaluation” of the impact of the so-called bedroom tax, insisting it needs a “brief wide enough to look at the indirect housing policy consequences”.

Have your say

When even the churches band together to criticize these policies you cant help admiring the tenacity of those who keep telling everyone that the public is behind them.

Posted by John on 3 April 2013 at 11:32

"unfair nasty policy" Actually John, it seems perfectly reasonable. Which is why the huge amount of hyperbole about it is so silly. Was it nasty when Labour did it in 2008?

If you want to get a feeling of 'how people think', hold a protest and see them come out in their thousands.

Except they didnt. Nothing more than a dodge pot of party hacks and activists.

They were about as welcome as the charity muggers trying to get people to sign up Direct Debits to harassed shoppers.

Posted by Geoff on 2 April 2013 at 23:24

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