‘Bedroom tax’: ‘Too many people want to move’ in Welwyn Hatfield
PUBLISHED: 14:19 11 April 2013 | UPDATED: 15:17 11 April 2013
MORE than a third of people hit by the controversial ‘bedroom tax’ will be looking to downsize, sparking fears council housing stock will be strained.
The spare room subsidy came into force on April 1 and sees social housing tenants with spare rooms hit with a benefit reduction.
Welwyn Hatfield Council estimates 1,096 households have been affected, with 35 per cent of those looking to move to smaller accommodation.
Labour Leader Councillor Kieran Thorpe does not believe there are not enough small homes to cope with the upheaval.
He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “If 35 per cent of people hit by it want to be moved clearly there isn’t [the housing stock] to cope with it, if they are going to move into private accommodation that’s the real worry.
“The whole thing is terrible.”
A spokeswoman for the borough said: “Although the [Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust] is still visiting households affected by the changes, feedback received so far indicates that around 35 per cent of those will be seeking to downsize.
“Twenty-four households have already moved to smaller accommodation as a result of the changes, and currently the trust is supporting a further 85 households who have expressed an interest in moving.
“Room measurements are being taken during the visits, and the trust is working with the council to consider re-classifying council homes with rooms under a certain size.”
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