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Arrears and hardship rise as bedroom tax hits home

The Government’s new under-occupancy charge (Bedroom Tax) is causing rising hardship among struggling tenants, according to a new report released by social landlord Aragon Housing Association.

The Should I stay or Should I go? report highlights the huge shortage of suitable smaller homes for people to down-size into if they choose to move to save money.

It also shows how some disabled tenants face having to move out of their adapted homes, at huge cost to either themselves or the tax payer.

Aragon’s Managing Director Aileen Evans, said: “This has had a huge impact on many of our most vulnerable tenants and we are seeing levels of arrears rise directly as a result of the change in the Housing Benefit rules.

“We have taken on more staff to try and support our most vulnerable customers to help them manage their money, help them back into work and advise them on their options.”

“Their work has revealed that hard-up tenants are worrying about how to feed and clothe their families while struggling to meet the shortfall in their rent.”

The report has also revealed the shortage of suitable accommodation in the private and social rented sector and the potential higher cost to the tax-payer of people being forced to move out of social housing and into the private rented sector.

Mrs Evans added: “We appreciate the Government’s desire to encourage people off benefits and  into work, we are seeing many cases of people who are genuinely trying to do their best, but for a number of reasons including disability, are really struggling to make ends meet.”

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