Bedroom Tax: Just 38 one bedroom properties for let in five Gwent housing associations, says AM
11:39am Monday 28th October 2013 in News
FIVE Gwent housing associations have as few as 38 one bedroom properties to rent but have 331 households requesting a move because of the so-called bedroom tax.
That’s according to figures from an AM who said the cuts to housing benefit based on how many spare rooms a claimant has were a “deeply metropolitan policy”.
According to the figures Newport City Homes has four one bedroom properties available to let but 96 households requesting a move.
Melin Homes has 15 on bedroom properties, but 23 households needing a move, while Charter Housing has 144 households needing a move but only nine one bedroom properties.
Monmouthshire Housing Association had 68 households subject to the so-called removal of the spare room subsidy had requested a move, but only two one bedroom properties were available to let.
Across Wales the figures showed 175 one-bedroom homes were available across 24 housing associations, compared to 1,666 households asking for a move.
Rebecca Evans, the Labour AM whose office compiled the figures, said the snapshot shows “the bedroom tax is a deeply metropolitan policy, designed perhaps with places like London and Birmingham in mind, where their housing stock is much more mixed”.
But a spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: "The removal of the spare room subsidy is a necessary reform to return fairness to housing benefit. Even after the reform we pay over 80 per cent of most claimants' housing benefit - but the taxpayer can no longer afford to pay for people to live in properties larger than they need."
Melin Homes said the number of one bedroom properties had fallen since the figures were collated to six.
It’s chief executive Mark Gardner said: “We have a relatively low turnover of one bedroomed properties but we have been allocated £1.1milllion from the Welsh Government’s small unit funding scheme which will facilitate the provision of 28 new homes over the next 12-18 months”.
A Tai Calon spokeswoman, who said the current number of one bedroom properties stood at 15, said: “We have done everything possible to help tenants prepare and adjust to the changes being introduced by the UK Government.”
Newport City Homes were unable to verify the figures on how many households were requesting a move.
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