Oxfam Scotland backs ‘No Eviction for Bedroom Tax’ Campaign

Website Bedroom-Tax-Coalition

  

bedroomtaxevictions-300x300February 11, 2013 by admin

Oxfam Scotland is backing a change in the law that will help tenants affected by the controversial cuts to housing benefit stay in their homes in Scotland.

The charity, which works with partners in Scotland to fight poverty and create sustainable livelihoods, is supportinga petition to the Scottish Parliament by Govan Law Centre, calling for an amendment to existing housing law.

The amendment will mean that rent arrears caused by the so-called ‘Bedroom Tax’ can’t be used as grounds for eviction by social landlords like councils or housing associations.

Government changes to housing benefit mean that, from April, people who are judged to have a ‘spare room’ will face a massive 14% cut in the support they get to keep a roof over their heads. Those with two ‘spare rooms’ will face a 25% cut.

Judith Robertson, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said:

“Last year our Humankind Index for Scotland found that an affordable, decent and safe home is the top priority for Scots across the country. But housing benefit cuts will put thousands of people at risk of losing their homes. People on low incomes are already struggling.

“We recognise that social landlords are being placed in a difficult situation by these housing benefit cuts, but our priority surely has to be to keep families in their homes. The change in the law proposed by Govan Law Centre will help make sure that happens.

“We hope MSPs will support the petition, and we hope the UK Government realises the enormous damage these cuts will have on people.”

 Govan Law Centre’s Principal Solicitor, Mike Dailly, said:

“We are delighted that a leading global anti-poverty charity has decided to back our ‘No Evictions for Bedroom Tax’ petition in the Scottish Parliament.

“Oxfam’s support for our Scottish campaign underlines the seriousness of the situation, with the prospect of tens of thousands of low income households in Scotland being threatened with homelessness unless they can find extra money for rent, and many families being pushed into destitution and poverty.

“We believe the Scottish Parliament has devolved powers which could be used to significantly mitigate the adverse impact of these changes to housing benefit, and hope that MSPs will join civic Scotland in supporting our No Evictions campaign”.

No2BedroomTax.co.uk

Comments
  • Graham Askew February 12, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Also needed in England –

  • jeffery davies February 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    but do they take sick and disabled and unemployed has sproutting about one thing whilst doing another thats just has underhanded

  • Diane little February 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Is childrens dla affected to the cuts ??

    • JJ February 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Yes

      • Bluesky February 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

        Hi JJ, I think i may have found a loop hole to the bedroom tax, section 326, part 10 housing act 1985, (if a bedroom is less than 70 square feet, it can’t be a bedroom for an over 10 year old? =Housing Act 1985
        (Excerpt)
        Part X – Definition of Overcrowding

        326 (1) The space standard is contravened when the number of persons
        sleeping in a dwelling is in excess of the permitted number,
        having regard to the number and floor area of the rooms of the
        dwelling available as sleeping accommodation.
        The space
        standard
        (2) For this purpose –
        (a) no account shall be taken of a child under the age of one and a child
        aged one or over but under ten shall be reckoned as one-half of a unit,
        and
        (b) a room is available as sleeping accommodation if it is of a type
        normally used in the locality either as a living room or as a bedroom.
        (3) The permitted number of persons in relation to a dwelling is
        whichever is the less of –
        (a) the number specified in Table I in relation to the number of rooms in
        the dwelling available as sleeping accommodation, and
        (b) the aggregate for all such rooms in the dwelling of the numbers
        specified in column 2 of Table II in relation to each room of the floor area
        specified in Colum 1

        TABLE II
        Floor area of room Number of persons
        110 sq. ft. or more 2
        90 sq. ft. or more but less than 110 sq. ft. 1½
        70 sq. ft. or more but less than 90 sq. ft. 1
        50 sq. ft. or more but less than 70 sq. ft. ½

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