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'Bedroom tax' will affect hundreds in Wycombe
A 'BEDROOM tax' will affect hundreds of households in Wycombe, a housing association is warning, and may force tenants to consider moving.
Red Kite, which took over 6,700 council homes in December, said its tenants need to be aware of the Government's significant and looming welfare changes.
Benefits are set to be cut for those with one or more spare bedrooms in their property.
Social housing tenants will lose out on 14 per cent under the new system if they have one unoccupied bedroom or 25 per cent for two.
The change, to come into effect from next April, has been dubbed the 'bedroom tax' by critics.
Trevor Morrow, Chief Executive of Red Kite, said: “It's going to have a massive impact, it's going to be 300 to 700 households.
“It's a lot for people, particularly if some of them feel they can't pay the additional rent.”
Mr Morrow and Jennie Ferrigno, Chairman of Red Kite, say for some it may mean finding a smaller home.
They want to help tenants prepare for the changes and help them downsize if that proves the best option.
Mr Morrow admitted the idea of switching home, especially for some tenants who may lived at the same address for decades, will not be popular.
He said: “There's going to be set of people who will be very uncomfortable with having to move.
“But for households which are currently overcrowded, it could be a chance to match people with those who need to move.”
Red Kite said it needs tenants to provide more personal information to help it plan potential moves.
Mrs Ferrigno, who was a council tenant for decades, said: “For people who we know are going to have a problem with the bedroom tax we can help them by being proactive rather than reactive.
“We want to do as much as we can to illuminate the impact for our tenants. “If your home and life can be improved by getting that information it's really important that we do it.”
In future benefits will be wrapped up into a universal credit - a new single payment for people looking for work or on a low income.
The Department for Work and Pensions has said the majority of the public agree with the welfare reforms, which it insists will make system better and fairer.
Visit the Red Kite website via related links for more details.
Or call 01494 476100, e-mail: email@example.com
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