Five years to rehouse all of Westminster's bedroom tax victims
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing
It will take over five years for Westminster Council to re-house all of its social housing tenants hit by the government's bedroom tax in smaller flats, the council's own figures have revealed.
The council says that 393 tenants are currently on the list of households affected by the widely condemned under-occupancy policy.
In the seven months from April until the end of October 2013, just 44 tenants affected by the bedroom tax managed to downsize.
The council has been able to rehouse around six tenants a month and at the current rate it will take five years and three months to move all the 393 affected households waiting for a move to smaller flats.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of Westminster's Labour Group, said: "These figures show the extent of the bedroom tax disaster with hundreds of residents stuck in limbo while they wait for years for the council to find them a smaller flat. In the meantime, they will have to pay the bedroom tax or else go 'cap in hand' to the council for a discretionary housing payment to cover the cost of the unfair and hated bedroom tax.
"Labour is pledged to scrap this nasty tax and to build more homes at rents that people can afford."