Social landlord backs motion to help those hit by bedroom tax
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government
A social landlord is backing a Parliamentary motion to increase Discretionary Housing Allowance (DHA) funding in the face of the coming bedroom tax.
Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) is getting behind Stockport MP Ann Coffey's motion titled 'Under-occupancy Penalty and the Vulnerable', which is calling on the Government to increase central DHA funding.
The motion cites concerns that withdrawing housing benefit from social housing tenants with unoccupied bedrooms will hit the poor, the vulnerable and the disabled hardest, and also recognises that housing associations and councils have a shortage of smaller properties, preventing tenants from downsizing.
LMH's Director of Housing and Customer Services, Angela Forshaw, said: “LMH fully supports the motion, it is vital DHA funding is increased to give those affected more financial support.
“We also believe that the bedroom tax should not be applied retrospectively.
“By its very name, DHA is subjective and so can’t be relied upon; tenants will only receive it if they apply and most vulnerable families will not know to do this.
“It underlines the unfairness of the policy and how so many people are going to be affected through no fault of their own.
“This motion is significant. If passed, it will clearly show the strength of feeling regarding the need for more financial help to enable a greater number of tenants to stay in their homes.”
The North West Housing Forum is also backing the motion and says as part of its 'Fairness for All' campaign it is unreasonable to implement the policy retrospectively and residents should not be punished if there is no suitable alternative accommodation available.