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Social landlord's 'stark warning' so far ignored by 700 'under occupiers'

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Social landlord's 'stark warning' so far ignored by 700 'under occupiers'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Finance

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A social landlord which wrote to 1,400 'under occupying' tenants who will be affected by the coming Bedroom Tax is yet to receive replies from half of them.

North Lincolnshire Homes (NLH) urged 'under occupiers' to get help before the Government's latest wave of benefit cuts begin in April 2013.

Lettings project officer Sam Gilbert, who was recruited specifically to assist tenants who are under occupying prepare for the changes, warned tenants that they should act now to prevent problems further down the line.

She said: “We are encouraged that 700 tenants have chosen to get in touch and seek help but are worried that some may be burying their heads in the sand.

“If tenants are struggling to pay their rent now, come April things will become more difficult. We are not trying to scaremonger, we just want people to know that we are here for help and support and will try to help them budget for the changes.”

The Bedroom Tax will affect people of working age only. The new rules are:

•Housing Benefit will be cut if they are a couple or individual with more than one bedroom.
•A child under the age of 16 is expected to share with another child of the same gender, while children under ten are expected to share with another child regardless of gender.
•A bedroom for a non-resident carer is allowed where they provide overnight care to a person with a disability.

NLH has set up a new Financial Inclusion Team to help tenants prepare for the changes, and has also made a video explaining the impact of the Bedroom Tax, which can be found on its website.

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