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41% OF SALFORD TENANTS AFFECTED BY BEDROOM TAX IN ARREARS
 

Star date: 19th September 2013

SALFORD SOCIAL HOUSING TENANTS BEDROOM TAX MISERY

41% of Salford's council house tenants affected by the Bedroom Tax have been pushed into rent arrears, according to new figures released by False Economy. The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information, show that 565 people from a total 1,371 `council house tenants' are behind with payments, the highest rate recorded in Greater Manchester.

And the numbers could be even higher, as over five thousand Salford residents in total have been affected by the Bedroom Tax.

Full details here…


Bedroom Tax Protest Salford Bedroom Tax Protest Salford Bedroom Tax
Bedroom Tax Pendleton Salford Pendleton Salford
Pendleton Salford Pendleton Salford
click image to enlarge

"These figures show once again the predictable chaos that has resulted from the hated bedroom tax" False Economy

41% of Salford's council housing tenants, or 565 people from a total 1,371, have been pushed into rents arrears by the Bedroom Tax, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) by campaign group False Economy.

This is the highest rate of Bedroom Tax misery in Greater Manchester, out of councils who provided data, and compares with 38% in Bury and 32% in Manchester.

Overall, one third of council housing tenants affected by the Tax across the North West, and nearly a third of all council housing tenants across Britain (from 114 local authorities that provided data) have fallen behind in rent payments.

In Salford, both the rate and numbers could be much higher as 5,500 social housing tenants in total are affected by the Bedroom Tax, according to Salford Council figures (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

"The Bedroom Tax, combined with other social security changes such as cuts in tax credits, falling real wages and high unemployment, is forcing many already hard-pressed families even deeper into debt" states False Economy. The group could have added that rent increases in the social housing sector, plus cuts to council tax benefits have also played a huge part in bringing misery to some of the poorest people in society.

Salford Council, Salix Homes and City West, the biggest providers of social housing in the city, have still not endorsed a `No Eviction' policy. Indeed, there is currently an e-petition on Salford City Council's website that calls for the Council to "publicly state that their housing policy will be that tenants living in Salford with rent arrears acquired due to the reduction of their housing benefit (via the Welfare Reform Act, 'The Bedroom Tax') should not face eviction proceedings". To sign it click here

On the shocking Bedroom Tax arrears statistics, Clifford Singer, Campaign Manager for False Economy says: "These figures show once again the predictable chaos that has resulted from the hated Bedroom Tax. Together with the raft of other benefits cuts the government has forced through both this year and previously, the bedroom tax is driving tenants and families who were just making ends meet into arrears, and pushing those who were already struggling with the cost of living into a full-blown crisis.

"At a time when the Government is actively trying to stoke a new housing bubble for purely political ends, we have people being punished for the lack of affordable housing and the decades-long failure to invest in social and council housing" he adds "The worst part is that these figures have been collated while councils' emergency Discretionary Housing Payments are still available; they are being used up at record speed and when they run out, these figures will only get worse."

Meanwhile, those social housing tenants who dare to have a `spare bedroom' or two and want to downsize into smaller properties to avoid the 14% or 25% reduction in housing benefit, will find that there aren't enough places to move into

Earlier this year, the Salford Star reported that City West has a waiting list of six years for a one bedroom home, while Salix stated "We cannot unfortunately guarantee that everyone who wanted a one bedroom home would be allocated one."

Throughout Salford, one and two bedroom social homes that could re-house those who might want to downsize are being demolished. This week there has been much lauding of the £650million Government approved Pendleton PFI regeneration, being created by the Pendleton Together consortium, which includes the Together Housing Group and Keepmoat, in partnership with Salford City Council. The scheme will see the demolition of more social housing properties than will be built.

In the Pendleton PFI scheme, 1,600 new homes will be built – but only 500 of those will be affordable. Meanwhile, 885, mainly social housing properties, will be demolished, including Peach Tree, Apple Tree and Pear Tree Court which are full of one and two bedroom flats. Quoting Pendleton's shocking poverty figures, Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: "Despite severe cuts to Salford, we're doing good things in bad times…it will bring real hope of a better future to local people." (More of this to follow…in the meantime, see previous Salford Star article - click here)

Meanwhile, after visiting the UK and hearing Pendleton resident, Dave, explaining that "I could lose my flat after Christmas, I'll be on the street…what else can I do except live on the street? I can't afford another £14 a week" , Raquel Rolnik, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, stated "My immediate recommendation is that the Bedroom Tax is abolished" (see video of her visit to Pendleton in previous Salford Star article – click here)

"The Bedroom Tax is hitting hard-pressed households who are in real need of help" says TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins "Disabled people who need space for their carers and families, and who have nowhere else to move, are being put at risk of debt and homelessness by the tax.

"Ministers claim the Bedroom Tax is saving money but the fact it is simply pushing up arrears shows that it is not working" she adds "Instead, councils across the North West are being forced to waste more money on evictions and debt collection when they could be spending it on providing proper housing and vital services. The fact that ministers are happy to go ahead with a Bedroom Tax on disabled and low paid families, no matter how much chaos and misery it causes, says a lot about their commitment to fairness."

Salford Against the Bedroom Tax will be out in force protesting against the unfair Tax and other disgusting social policies at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester on September 29th.

For further information on the Falso Economy research - click here

peter batty wrote
at 11:43:04 on 16 October 2013
lived in my flat 15 years,i have to move because I cannot afford to pay bedroom tax,started shop lifting at 51,pot noodles for sunday dinner
 
Salford Star wrote
at 07:32:02 on 25 September 2013
To Paul and Bernard - we're not starting this off-topic debate up again. We've closed your last thread down. Suggest if you want to keep arguing you meet at the Precinct and sort it out between you!
 
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 22:44:14 on 24 September 2013
Why should people who are loath to give up their homes because they have an extra bedroom that is not in use be called selfish/.The biggest property's in the UK and paid for by the tax payers of the UK are the Royal Palaces/.Buckingham/ Sandringham/Glen Eagles/Windsor etc Has anybody mentioned to those Work shy people who live in them and have a fairly comfortable life at the tax payers expence .That in these hard times it might be prudent of them to sell a couple of their Palaces.and start paying their way by contributing a little by way of rent.Charlie alone has a 6 billion £ property empire so it is hardly asking a lot. Then the people who are having a pop at council tenants might have something else to muse over.any thoughts?
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 12:13:44 on 24 September 2013
I'm really not interested in arguing with you Paul, it is a waste of time. The fact is that the modern Labour Party, Ian Stewart included are about as socialist as you are. I will ask you a couple of simple questions; do you believe in free health care? Do you believe in free education? Do you think it wrong that those who produce the wealth have a share in the means of its production? Not difficult questions, just answer them.
 
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 09:51:48 on 24 September 2013
Paul immigrants have been flooding into the UK since the dawn of time Angles Saxons Romans Danes Jutes Celts Normans Flemish I can fill this page with about forty races that have been here in the UK for over a 1000 yrs so if you think some right wing Tory NAZIS are going to solve the UKs Housing/ Employment / Health / and Education problems dream on.UKIP is just the torys speaking out loud.But I will agree unlimited immigration is Lunacy and should be stopped .We need a lot more immigrants in certain fields but none in others.
 
Paul wrote
at 03:39:01 on 24 September 2013
To Bernard. and labours open door policy on immergration really helped to aleaviate the problem. Take the left wing socialist glasses off and see what's really in front of your eyes. Suppose you'll be blaming thatcher in a thousand years from now, try a little nearer in time, to Blair & brown for today's mess. Oh forgot socialism car't do no wrong, tell that to the people who are being under cut by immigrants, hundreds thousands of more on the way in January when our boarder are flung open again for these people to do the jobs you say don't exist or are they coming for the benefits and where's the housing coming from for these people. Isn't Ian Stewart a socialist and look what he has done to salford, just another champaign socialist, only one opposition party to labour in salford, vote UKIP
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 11:38:15 on 20 September 2013
Chris get a job where? There are no jobs, this city has been in decline since the 1970s with a succession of large scale employers pulling out of the city. The problem is not that there are people living in palaces with more rooms than they need, though there is a family of claimants in living in London with houses all over the place, the problem is a shortage of housing. You see the was once upon a time a wicked witch who sold council houses, but she didn't let the councils build more. So now many years later there is not enough social housing. Being very clever though those nasty politicians blame everybody else, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
 
Matt Simpson wrote
at 08:44:11 on 20 September 2013
Signed and shared. Good work Dave.
 
Had enough of the takers, how about giving? wrote
at 08:43:14 on 20 September 2013
What don't you understand @David Renshaw I don't see why I should be subsiding a lone adult living in a 3 bedroom house on housing benefit when there are families with kids overcrowded and living in 1 & 2 bed properties that could be in these houses?? Are you saying fuck the kiddies, let them suffer?? SELFISH bastards looking after themselves that's what all these protests are about. It's time to stop the ME, ME, ME attitude and start thinking about the kiddies.
 
Chris wrote
at 08:43:02 on 20 September 2013
It's not a tax, it's a reduction in benefits! The rents should not be so high in the first place. And we end up in a situation where there is more spend spend spend. What will that do? Answer - Increase rents further. It is the spenders and the wasters of other peoples money that are the problem. Salford must have the highest density of losers on the planet. Advise - Leave, get a job and do something positive.
 
David Renshaw wrote
at 17:00:00 on 19 September 2013
The number of tenants that are in arrears will rise in Salford due to the fact that most Discretionary Housing Payment awarded in the city to tenant were for a 6 month period. People will be in the same situation as they where they will still be sick, disabled, unemployed or on low wages with the added stress of arrears and eviction. These people are our friends,family and members of our community. We as Salfordians should support those affected even if we arnt affected. Salford was once know to be the friendliest place in the world lets get that community spirit back in Salford. Pendleton Salford Axe The Bedroom Tax part of Salford Against The Bedroom Tax will be lobbying outside Salix Homes on Tuesday 24th September from 4PM anyone that wants to come along in support is very welcome.
 
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