15th December 2011
Habinteg welcomes last night’s House of Lords vote to amend Government welfare proposals which would have restricted the amount of Housing Benefit for people in social rented housing with one or more extra bedrooms.
The proposed amendment would allow tenants to receive full housing benefit if they have no more than one spare room or if no other suitable alternative accommodation is available.
Habinteg’s Head of Policy & Practice, Lynn Watson says:
“Many disabled people need space to store mobility aids or other equipment, some also may need intermittent support from carers over night, and may find it hard to travel to stay with friends and relatives. Having a bedroom available for these things can be fundamental to independence and quality of life.
We also believe that the proposals would have made it harder for housing providers to make efficient use of their resources. Since so many disabled tenants have specific needs that require investment in adaptations, the idea that such tenants should move to other accommodation if they have an ‘extra’ bedroom would have put still more strain on scarce housing resources. Of course the suitability of a property for disabled people isn’t solely about accessibility features. Other factors, such as location and local amenities can also play a key part in a person’ independence and inclusion, so the notion of ‘suitable alternative’ will be a very important one if this amendment is upheld when it reaches the Commons.”
More information: Habinteg's Communications team: 020 7822 8700