Over half of Westminster Council tenants hit by the Bed Room Tax are in rent arrears, according to the latest figures from the Council.
According to Westminster Council’s Housing officers;
“At the end of September 2013, 405 council tenants in Westminster were affected by the under occupation cap, of whom 205 were in rent arrears. The value of arrears for the current under-occupation cases at the end of March 2013 (immediately prior to introduction of the cap) was £90,896 and the current arrears of those cases is £117,886, an increase of £26,990.”
Since 1st April 2013, under-occupying tenants of working age have had their housing benefit reduced by 14% of their rent if they have one spare room and 25% of their rent if they have two or more spare rooms.
Because of the shortage of available one bed flats, Westminster Council has rehoused just 40 families to smaller property in the past 7 months – just 10% of those hit by the Bedroom Tax.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“Rent arrears are rising and are hitting the most vulnerable families who were having difficulty paying their rent before they were hit by the nasty Bedroom Tax. This evil Bedroom Tax is making personal finances worse for hundreds of families and losing the Council tens of thousands of pounds in rent. This is a double disaster which Labour will bring to an end after the next election”