Disabled single mother becomes first Scottish victim of bedroom tax
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
A severely disabled mother of two is to become the first tenant in Scotland to be evicted from her home as a result of the bedroom tax.
Lorraine Fraser - who suffers from scoliosis and arthritis – has fallen £248 into rent arrears since the introduction of the government's controversial under-occupancy policy.
The 46-year-old was moved into the flat in Uddingston that had been adapted with a wheelchair ramp and handrails two years ago.
Now North Lanarkshire Council has advised her that it intends to take legal action to remove her from the property, the Daily Record reported.
In a letter sent earlier this month, the Labour-run council wrote: “I can advise you that North Lanarkshire Council has commenced court action to evict you from your home.”
Speaking to the Daily Record, Ms Fraser said: “Where will I go? I need a specially adapted home just to survive.
“What kind of people would throw a disabled woman and her kids out on the street? They have no compassion or conscience.”
The tenant learned in April that she would lose £62 a week from her housing benefit on account of her home being deemed to have two spare bedrooms.
Ms Fraser shares her three-bed home with her two children, Mark, 17, and Collette, 19.
However, both teenagers also spend time living with their father, Ms Fraser's ex-husband.
It seems the split living arrangements have allowed the authorities to deem the two bedrooms as 'under-occupied'.
Despite council leader Jim McCabe calling the bedroom tax “the single worst piece of legislation I have ever seen”, North Lanarkshire remains one of the few Scottish local authorities that have not taken a no-evictions stance over the policy.
A council spokesman said: “We have offered every tenant potentially affected by the bedroom tax an opportunity to have a visit or advice by phone.
“The tenant in question has consistently refused to fully engage with us and has repeatedly refused to apply for a discretionary housing payment which may help to alleviate her situation.
“We are committed to helping all tenants hit by this UK government legislation.”