Alan lives in Dumfries and Galloway and has recently received a letter from his Social Housing Landlord to tell him he has been identified as being affected by the proposed changes to Housing Benefit. Andrew lives with his wife in a 2 bedroom property. Alan and his wife both have Learning Disabilities. They are supported by a national voluntary organisation.
Alan has lived in this house for around 15 years. He first moved into this house with someone else who had a learning disability as co flatmates. After this person moved out, Alan married and his wife moved in.
Alan has never asked for this property. This is where he was “placed” many years ago. Alan and his wife do not particularly want to move. They are happy living in this house where they feel safe and know the neighbours. They do not want to take in a lodger and would not feel safe doing so. Even if they choose to move it is not clear whether anyone locally can offer them a one bedroom house anyway.
Some of the proposals are that people should take in lodgers or get a job to have enough money to cover the gap. But for most people it will mean moving.
Lorna who lives in the east end of Glasgow stays with her aging mother in a two bedroom council house. She has lived her for most of her life. But now she is worried that if anything happens to her mother, she will not be able to stay in the same house . The plan had been for her to take on the tenancy if her mother died or had to move into residential care. But if the housing benefit changes are implemented then she might not be able to afford to manage the rent. Right now she doesn’t need a lot of support as she knows her way about the house and the local area. If she has to move then she is likely to need more long term help which will be an extra cost on the welfare state. This matter won’t save money instead it will cost more.
All of this and unfortunately, much more will happen as a result of the Bedroom Tax. It’s not too late to change this policy and we would appeal to all right minded people to get behind efforts to change this.