Bedroom Tax: New changes to Nottingham tower block flat rules to protect tenants



26 March 2013 Last updated at 20:00


High-rise flats in Nottingham will be classified as one-bedroom, even those with two bedrooms, in preparation for changes to housing benefit.

The city currently has 499 one-bedroom flats and 1,019 two-bedroom properties in high rise tower blocks.

From 1 April council tenants deemed to have too much living space will receive a reduced housing payment.

Council papers stated the change would maintain levels of accommodation needed for single people and couples.

‘Bedroom tax’

The new rules will affect housing benefit, which is paid to less well-off tenants to help with rent. Typically claimants receive between £50 and £100 a week.

But from April families deemed to have too much living space by their local authorities will receive a reduced payment. Under the government’s so-called “size criteria”, families will be assessed for the number of bedrooms they actually need – a policy dubbed the “Bedroom Tax” by the Labour Party.

In a proposal put forward by David Liversidge, St Ann’s ward councillor and portfolio holder for adults, housing and the community, council papers stated “current demand for non-family accommodation significantly outstrips supply”.

“If applicants that would under-occupy were also precluded [from high rises], two-bedroom high rise flats would be extremely difficult to let given the household profile of those seeking accommodation from the council.

“The supply of one-bedroom flats across the stock is limited and turnover is slow. If these tower block flats were no longer available to singles and couples, the housing register would increase as would homelessness.”

A well as classifying all the tower block flats as one-bedroom, the council has ruled any rooms that are smaller than 50 sq ft (4.6m sq), will be considered as studies and not bedrooms.

There are currently 12,000 applicants on Nottingham City Council’s housing register, 8,000 of whom are single people or couples.

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13 thoughts on “Bedroom Tax: New changes to Nottingham tower block flat rules to protect tenants

  1. Dissabled dave says:

    How pleasant to see some sanity from some politicians, but I expect the Government will change the law to prevent them from doing this.

  2. John Lanigan says:

    Hurra! At last, some innovative thinking to defeat the “bedroom tax. Well done Nottingham! Will the Labour led Glasgow City Council take a lead from Nottingham and make similar decisions to protect those who will be affected by the “bedroom tax”?
    If they don’t, the people of Glasgow will want to know why?
    Nottingham has led the way, they have shown that there is a way to protect their tenants.
    Every council in the land now needs to follow suit!

  3. ciccio says:

    Nottingham City Council (my local council) have done exceptionally well with the cuts. Our youngsters still get what they did before, just a little less of it, our elderly the same. Most local authorities seem to have implemented the cuts by slashing, cutting and burning some services. Nottingham, for the most part, have kept the services, just cut back on waste, underemployment of staff and looking for ways how to keep each service running on the lowest budget possible, which has allowed them to do the above ‘re-designing’ of tower block flats.

  4. Serenity says:

    Ciccio, sounds great just shows what they can do if they really want too.
    The SNP have had devolution for 15yrs and all they can do is blame London!

  5. Qashie James says:

    Well Basingstoke & Deane Council & the HA’s are saying that anyone falls behind in paying their bedroom poll tax will be face Eviction from their homes and yet they are still offering 2 bedroom properties to couples as there is not enough 1 bedroom units available?

  6. hugosmum70 says:

    wish our lot would do same. my disabled nephew who dialyses at home is having to pay bedroom tax on the bedroom used to dialyse in, which has to be kept pristine and Aseptic..therefore CANNOT be used to sleep in. plus the room used by his 2 sons who live with him half the time mum the other terms or holidays/weekends. £88 per month.he has been told ,failure to pay will result in eviction. and its a labour council here. the housing association is an offshoot of our local council. i despair of any of us having anything like a normal life ever again or even partly so.

  7. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Are you really that stupid? Welfare is reserved to London Government and has nothing to do with the devolved Scottish Government which incidentally was Labour led for most of the time.
    Are you trying to deflect eyes away from the fact that Labour MPS did not vote against this in Parliament and some of them supported it.

  8. kelpiemare says:

    Isn’t this great…a council doing what councils’ are supposed to do, look after their peoples’ interests and keep them as safe as possible. Unlike the government who expect the most vulnerable in our society to get out of sickbeds to pandering to the over-pandered-to 1%.

    If one council can do it, they all can. Kudos, Nottingham.

  9. Serenity says:

    Dave McEwan Hill
    Are you really that stupid? Welfare is reserved to London Government and has nothing to do with the devolved Scottish Government which incidentally was Labour led for most of the time.
    Are you trying to deflect eyes away from the fact that Labour MPS did not vote against this in Parliament and some of them supported it.

    Do you really think a personal attack and name calling will further your vindication of the devolved Scots gov, the SNP have been been around for nearly 40yrs and Scotland has been devolved for 15 and they are still just a tail wagged by London.
    You would think in all that time they could come up with something better than anti-English rhetoric and the stirring up of that most perilous of emotions nationalism . While implementing the same policies as London filling the pockets of their greedy property and land owning mates!

    As for deflecting eyes from labour they are as guilty as the tories they have played their part fully in bringing about the present dictatorship in which we find ourselves, ” ein Reich”.

  10. Serenity says:

    Crisis claim over housing waiting lists

    Published on 29 January 2012

    Victoria Weldon

    THE SNP is facing increased pressure over social housing after it was claimed local authority waiting lists are at “crisis point”.

    Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show more than 120,000 housing applicants have been on a waiting list for over a year, as of last October, while more than 81,000 have been waiting for a home for over two years.

    The figures are the latest blow to the social housing sector after it was revealed that the housing budget is to be cut by around 40% and it is now cheaper to buy a home than to rent one.

    Jim Hume, LibDem housing spokesman, claimed that social housing is now at crisis point, and called on the SNP to commit again to a pledge to build 6000 socially rented homes each year.

    He said: “It is clear that Scotland’s housing crisis requires urgent action from the Scottish Government.

    “With over 81,000 households stuck on local authority waiting lists for over two years, ministers need to focus on building more homes for social rent, so that these families can finally access a home.

    “It has been hugely disappointing to see the Scottish Government move away from its manifesto commitment to build 6000 socially rented homes each year, replacing it with homes that require an element of purchase.

    “There has been growing anger at the backtracking by ministers over recent months.”

    Of the local authorities which responded to LibDems freedom of information requests, Edinburgh has the longest housing application waiting lists.

    The city council has more than 10,000 applicants waiting for over two years while the council deals with 25,522 in total.

    Glasgow, Inverclyde and the Borders were unable to provide information as they had transferred their housing stock to housing associations

    Hume added: “The approaching 2012 homelessness target brings the need for more socially rented homes into even sharper focus.

    “If the SNP Government does not make the right choices on housing it is clear that thousands of families will be left on housing lists for many more years.”

    The Scottish Government is already facing criticism from the Labour party after it was revealed that it plans to cut the housing budget from £363.7 million in 2011-12 to £214.8m in 2012-13 – a drop of just under 41%.

    Richard Baker, Labour finance spokesman, said: “This cut tells you everything you need to know about the SNP’s commitment to home-building. This will be a terrible blow for people waiting for a home.

    “At a time when demand for housing is increasing, this SNP cut will mean the thousands of people across Scotland who are waiting for affordable homes will be left waiting even longer.”

    A study by the Bank of Scotland also suggested that more Scots may turn to buying a house after it was revealed that it is now cheaper to buy than to rent.

    Average monthly mortgage payments for a three-bedroom house in Scotland were £510 in December 2011, 6% lower than the average monthly rent of £540 paid on the same property type.

    However, Housing Minister Keith Brown insisted the Government was on track to help home buyers and renters, with more than 6000 affordable homes being built each year, of which more than 4000 will be social homes.

    He said: “That is a higher rate of affordable housing, and a comparable rate of social housing, than was achieved by the previous administration during the boom years.”

    Brown is also looking at cutting the number of long-term empty houses in Scotland by allowing councils to sell the properties.

    He has launched a consultation on the issue and will work with Shelter Scotland and the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership on proposals to cut the 25,000 empty homes blighting the country

    Here is the full article.

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