Exeter tenants to be hit by 'bedroom tax'
MORE than 800 housing tenants in Exeter are set to be hit by an under-occupancy penalty which comes into force next month, a campaign group estimates.
And of those affected by what critics have branded the "bedroom tax", more than half are disabled according to the National Housing Federation.
The group argues the financial assistance being provided to these households will fail to cover the shortfall in lost benefit.
The Government has come in for fierce criticism over the changes coming into force on April 1, which will see housing benefit cut for people in social housing with spare bedrooms.
Lilibets offer unique gift ideas for that perfect baby shower or the new arrival/s.
Our clothes range from premature 3-5lbs to 24 mths. Some items are handmade by us.
*This offer excludes: Handmade cards, Natural Nursery Products and Exeter Babies products. (real nappies, slings etc)
Only one voucher per transaction.
Cannot be exchanged for cash.
Contact: 01392 346706
Valid until: Saturday, August 31 2013
The Tory-led coalition argues the proposals will save money and help deal with a housing shortage by encouraging people to move out of homes that are too big for them.
But opponents like the NHF say the plans are 'flawed' which will unfairly penalise households, and are calling for an urgent rethink.
Under the move, the federation estimates 835 people in Exeter will be affected, of which 526 are disabled.
They face losing on average £527 a year if they have one spare room and £942 for two or more according to the group.
The number of other people affected (including disabled) and the average amount they face losing in other areas is:
East Devon – 623 (392) £536 to £957.
Mid Devon – 423 (266) £530 to £947.
Teignbridge – 472 (297) £578 to £1,032.
These families face having to pay more rent or move out, the federation said.
The extra money being made available by the Government to support people with disabilities affected by the changes would not cover the shortfall, it argued.
Catherine Brabner, South West lead manager for the federation, said: "The Government's bedroom tax is flawed and will unfairly penalise thousands of people in the South West who have lived in their homes for years, raised families and contributed to their communities.
"The 'one-size-fits-all' approach takes no account of disabled people's adapted homes, of foster parents who need rooms to take children in or of parents sharing custody who will lose the room for their child at weekends. In most areas, there just aren't enough smaller affordable homes for these families to move into to avoid the tax."
But the changes were defended at Westminster by the Education Secretary Michael Gove.
He said: "It is not a tax. It is timely and necessary action to deal with our out-of-control welfare bills."