The Bedroom Tax is part of the Welfare Reform Act due to come into force in April 2013. It reduces housing benefit by between 14% and 25% for those in social housing (council housing or housing association housing) if they are deemed to be ‘under occupying’. Across Leeds the council estimates 9000 households will be effected.
‘Under occupying’ includes:
- Having one more room for each single person or couple (even if the ‘extra’ room is a box room or for storing disability equipment)
- Having more than one room for two children under 16 of the same gender.
- Having more than one room for two children under 10 of the same gender.
- Having a room for a foster child.
The government claims that this change will encourage more efficient use of social housing. However the reality is not only are many people in need of their ‘extra’ rooms but their are no properties for those effected to move into. Across the country there are already 1 million people on council waiting lists for one bedroom properties, in Leeds 20,000 council homes have been been lost in the last 15 years. There are simply no properties to move to! Hands Off Our Homes believe the solution to a lack of social housing is not to punish those who live in social housing but to build more council homes.
We say ‘keep calm and don’t move’ to those effected. A mass refusal to move will put pressure on the council and housing associations not to evict tenets. We aim to support those that resist pressure to move and build a campaign of solidarity in these communities.
Leeds Hands Off Our Homes is a campaign group of affected tenants and Leeds citizens who refuse to stand by and watch people being evicted, families forced to move and communities torn apart. We are building a mass campaign to pressure Leeds City Council and the housing associations to:
– Publicly oppose the bedroom tax and join the campaign to have it abolished
– Promise NOT to evict any tenants who fall into arrears as a direct result of these cuts
– Start building thousands of new social rented homes across Leeds