‘Bedroom tax will hurt the most vulnerable’

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Around 600 familes in Worksop deemed to ‘under-occupy’ their homes will have to pay extra rent or downsize their property from April this year.

Under the new ‘bedroom tax’ rules, council or housing association tenants of working age whose homes don’t match their family size will see their Housing Benefit cut by up to 25 per cent.

The changes mean a typical single person living in a two bed property will have to pay £9.10 extra a week, while a family of four paying £80 per week rent will see their benefits cut by £11.20.

Strict criteria will apply about children sharing bedrooms, and couples sleeping in separate rooms due to disabilities or illness will be classed as under-occupiers.

Bassetlaw Council’s portfolio holder for revenues and benefits, Coun Sylvia May, said the cuts would hit low-income families hard - particularly those who will also be affected by Council Tax Benefit changes.

“We will be going back to the 1930s and the days of overcrowding,” she said.

“It’s going to be a very difficult and uncertain period for many families in Worksop who are already vulnerable in some way - these are the ones who will be the hardest hit.”

A1 Housing managing director Bernard Coleman said they will support tenants to help them meet increased rent charges, take in a lodger or find a smaller property elsewhere in the district.

To find out what support is available call A1 Housing on 01909 533744.