Housing provider organising mass bedroom tax protests
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Universal Credit
barnet bedroom tax
A social landlord is harnessing the voice and power of 100,000 tenants across the North East to launch a mass protest against the bedroom tax.
Coast & Country's tenant panel organised a welfare reform bedroom tax summit with tenants' representatives from 19 housing associations.
The aim was to educate them about the tax and its implications and mobilise them to go back to their areas and galvanise fellow tenants to launch protest campaigns.
From April, anyone of working age living in social housing who his deemed to be under-occupying their property will have cuts made to their housing benefit.
Households deemed to have one surplus bedroom will have their housing benefit cut by 14 percent, whilst those with two or more will see a 25 percent cut.
Iain Sim, Coast & Country chief executive, said: “Last year we had an uprising about the pasty tax, now we have the nasty tax.
“The bedroom tax is nasty because it is affecting some of the poorest people in society, who through no fault of their own are living in homes that are classed as too big for them.”
Mr Sim said the aim of the summit was to help give a voice to 100,000-plus social housing tenants in the North East over the Welfare Reforms.
He added: “If you look at the mechanics of the bedroom tax it is grossly unjust and could potentially cost the Government more.
“Coast & Country has 1,800 tenants who are under-occupying, but we only have two one-bedroom properties empty and to let. If all these people moved to private rented accommodation where rents are significantly higher than our rents the housing benefits bill in Redcar and Cleveland alone would rise by £450,000.”
The tenants that attended the summit, which was held at the Wynyard Rooms, in Tees Valley, came from:
• Coast & Country
• Tees Valley
• Dale and Valley
• Durham City Homes
• Teesdale Housing
• Darlington Housing Association
• Housing Hartlepool
• East Durham Housing Partnership
• Derwentside Homes
• South Tyneside Homes
• Two Castles
• Homes for Northumberland
Coast & Country manages 10,309 homes in the North East.