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Housing chief speaks out against ‘bedroom tax’ on poorest homes

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Housing chief speaks out against ‘bedroom tax’ on poorest homes

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Published by Lucy Bradwell for The Regenda Group in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities

Bernard Gallagher, Chief Executive of The Regenda Group Bernard Gallagher, Chief Executive of The Regenda Group

The Chief Executive of one of the region’s leading housing associations has today (Wednesday, February 1) spoken out on the impact of the Welfare Reform Bill.

 

The Regenda Group’s Bernard Gallagher said if the Bill is approved in its current form it will affect some of the most vulnerable members of society.  He is urging MPs  not to ignore an amendment made in the House of Lords - which would exempt those families with just one additional bedroom  - from the proposed ‘bedroom tax’ where there are no alternative smaller properties for them move to.

 He said: “If the Bill is passed without any amendments, households will be forced to choose between going into debt, cutting back on essentials or trying to move. With so few smaller homes available, many will not even have that choice.

“This will affect some of the most vulnerable groups in our community from grandparents, who care for their grandchildren; families with same-sex teenagers, who will be asked to share a bedroom; anyone with a disability who is living in an adapted home; families which foster or single parents who share the care of their children. Many will see their incomes cut and be forced to make some difficult choices if the Bill passes un-amended.”

Nearly 80 housing, family and disability organisations are calling on MPs to ensure the Government listens to the clear message sent by peers by allowing this compromise to stand.

Derek Long, head of the National Housing Federation for the North, said: “Penalising families for under-occupying when they have nowhere to move to is unfair and unjust.”

“We urge Ministers to accept the amendment and vote for it to stand. Otherwise there will be disastrous implications for huge numbers of people already struggling to make ends meet.”

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