Homelessness fears of tenants

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One in 10 social housing tenants fear they will have to pay more to stay in their current homes because there are no smaller properties available.

Or they worry they may lose their home entirely because they can’t afford the bedroom tax.

Although a third of respondents in Scotland reported they are facing increased outgoings under the new bedroom tax because they are deemed to have ‘spare’ bedrooms, almost 10 per cent remain determined to stay in their current homes. Experts believe this could result in affected tenants being around £832 worse off every year.

Over 82 per cent of Scottish social housing tenants think the bedroom tax is ‘unfair’, with three-quarters thinking it is ‘completely the wrong solution’ to the current 1.8 million strong waiting list for social housing properties.

The lack of availability of smaller properties means a large number of those currently ‘under-occupying’ their properties, according to the bedroom tax rules, have no alternative.

Angus MP Mike Weir commented: “The bedroom tax is an iniquitous measure and is causing real problems to many people in Angus and throughout the country. People who may have lived in a home for very many years find themselves at risk of losing that home because the UK government has deemed that they have too many bedrooms. They cannot effectively move to smaller properties because there are simply too few available.

“If people are forced to go into the private rental market then they may face higher rents and, consequently, be making higher claims for housing benefit ending up costing the taxpayer even more. This is simply daft.”

He continued: “The real solution to the housing problem is not to victimise people but to build more social housing to meet the clear need that there is for houses of all sizes.”