Mapped: Birmingham’s highest areas of benefit claimants

 

The map below shows Birmingham by its constituencies along with the levels of people who are claiming benefits, areas in red being the highest. Among the most affected areas Ladywood has the highest levels of people on housing benefits in all of Birmingham so it is here that the Bedroom Tax has the highest potential for affecting the most people. Alternatively Sutton Coldfield has least amount of benefit claimants and so stands to be the least affected.

 

map of areas effected worst by benefits

Click on the map to show the full map, hover over each area to get the percentage of people claiming housing benefits.

Foster Parents hit by Bedroom Tax.

As of April 2013 foster carers across Birmingham will be left paying between 14% and 25% of their current housing benefits whether there is a child occupying the room or not.

There are approximately 2000 ‘children in care’ at any one time in Birmingham, according to Birmingham City Council, whom they are responsible for and “aim to find stable, secure and caring homes” for.   These looked after children may be housed across a number of in house homes and private sector accommodation, but as of 2009 1190 of children in question were in foster care. That’s 60% of all Birmingham’s looked after children who’s carers potentially stand to shoulder the short fall.

This is down to a technicality with the current benefits system, according to the current outlines “when calculating how many bedrooms a family unit require, a room for a foster child will not be taken into account. Therefore, a household that has an extra room for a current or potential foster child will be treated as under-occupying”.

So for a foster carer who has one bedroom set aside for a fostered child, and is in receipt of the average housing benefit of £89.27 per week, will now have to pay £12.50 of that back, a shortfall that could be at the cost of the child. If a carer has two or more rooms for foster children that amount jumps £22.32.

Birmingham City Council Adopt/Foster Appeal.

“.

Ethnically diverse areas of Birmingham to be most affected?

Statistics released by Birmingham City Council, indicate that the most culturally diverse areas of Birmingham are likely to have the highest rates of people affected by the Bedroom Tax.

Ladywood, possibly the most affected area, has the lowest proportion of white residents in Birmingham at just over a third. The predicted least affected area of the city is Sutton Coldfield, where a massive 94% of its residents are white.

As previously reported, less than 10% of Sutton Coldfield’s population is expected to be affected by the Bedroom Tax, in comparison to almost half of Ladywood’s residents.

suttoneth ladywoodeth

More specifically, Ladywood’s population includes 2 percentage points more Asian residents than white. Over 5% are mixed and almost 1 in 5 are black.

Sutton Coldfield’s ethnic makeup could not be more different. Just over 3% of its residents are Asian, around 1 in 100 are of mixed race and the same amount are black.

When questioned about the occurring pattern of Bedroom Tax and ethnic minorities, Councillor David Barrie (Conservative), strongly denied the act of discrimination:

“I reject absolutely the implicit suggestion that the changes discriminate against ethnic minorities.”

He went on to say:

“Inequality yes, discrimination no.”

Other areas of Birmingham predicted to be fairly highly affected by the Bedroom Tax are Erdington, Northfield and Hodge Hill. Those expected to not see many effects of the benefit cuts include Hall Green, Perry Barr and Yardley.

ethnicity

However, Hall Green, Hodge Hill and Perry Barr are the other locations in Birmingham to have a high proportion of ethnic minorities, with only around half of residents in each area being white. Hodge Hill particularly shows a negative relationship between ethnicity and these benefit cuts, with around a third of residents potentially affected.

Sutton Coldfield to be the least affected area of Birmingham?

Less than 10% of Sutton Coldfield residents may be affected by the Bedroom Tax. This area is expected to see the least effects in Birmingham as of April 2013, when the new policy comes into action.

sutton1

Almost 6% of Sutton Coldfield residents live in a council owned house and only 3.5% are living in a Housing Association property. This is a massive 39 percentage points less than the most affected area of Birmingham, Ladywood.

Hall Green, Perry Barr and Yardley are other areas of Birmingham which indicate fairly low rates of Local Authority and Housing Association properties. The data released by Birmingham City Council, suggests that less than a quarter of each of these regions’ populations are likely to be affected by the Bedroom Tax.

hallgreen1 perrybarr1 yardley1

Approximately 1 in 5 of Hall Green’s residents may be potentially affected, with around 10% living in Local Authority Housing and the same amount depending on the HA. Perry Barr shows very similar data. Just over 9% of residents are council tenants and only a tenth live in a property provided by the HA. Yardley indicates slightly different rates, with just over 20% living in a council house and a further 4% occupying a HA property.

Click on the image to view the full map.

Click on the image to view the full map.

This map shows where these lowly affected areas are in Birmingham.

Overcrowding is six times worse in social housing than in private homes.

According to George Marshall at the National Housing Federation, people wishing to move home will suffer due to the housing crisis.

As families will be forced to downsize due to the ‘spare bedroom’ tax, the need for 2 bedroom houses and single person flats will rise.

This will cause an additional cost for £500,000 due to people choosing to move into a single person flat other than a two bedroom home.

New stats and figures as told by George Marshall

George Marshall at the National housing Federation states that the average housing price is roughly £176,000 meaning that prices have fallen by 2% since 2011.

However, despite housing prices falling there is still the massive issue of housing shortage that will cause an increase in the homeless and in the housing waiting lists. As social housing becomes more overcrowded, people are forced to move, but the housing shortage is beginning to give occupants no choice in the matter.

According to the Research systems officer at National Housing Federation, George Marshall;

‘Across the country the proportion of overcrowded households is between 6 and 7 times as high in the social housing sector as in owner-occupied housing, so it would be logical to expect the rate for social housing in the West Midlands to be over 1 in 10 households’.

Those suffering from overcrowded conditions will however be helped by the housing campaign, Yes to Homes.

The campaign found that there is land available in Birmingham that is equivalent to two cities size of Wolverhampton if the people who have privately owned homes gave up some land.  Yes to homes, aims to create more land and therefore more homes for the people who are suffering from overcrowded conditions.

Councillor Mike Sharpe has recently praised a developer on his plans to build eight new homes and six new workshops in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter area.

The development offers six, four bedroom houses and two, two bedroom apartments. This is exactly what the housing crisis needs to be overcome and that is an increase in smaller homes.

To read further into this subject, follow the link:

Ladywood to be the most affected area of Birmingham?

Almost half of Ladywood residents will potentially be affected by the Bedroom Tax. Around 49% are either council tenants or live in a Housing Association property.

ladywood1

Statistics released by Birmingham City Council, show that over 31% of Ladywood residents live in Local Authority Housing, as well as almost 18% living in a property provided by the Housing Association. The tenants who are deemed to have a spare bedroom will see the effects of April 2013’s new policy.

ladywood2

With only 29% of Ladywood council tenants having just one bedroom, a potential of 71% may be affected by the Bedroom Tax. If rooms are not filled to the requirements of the policy, residents will see their benefits cut significantly. Negative effects have already began to occur in the Ladywood area. One resident’s story can be seen here.

Erdington, Northfield and Hodge Hill are other areas of Birmingham which have fairly high Local Authority and Housing Association rates.

erdington1 northfield1 hodgehill1

Around a third of Erdington’s residents may be affected by the Bedroom Tax, as almost 21% are council tenants and a further 10.7% live in a HA property. Northfield shows slightly higher results. 33.5% of its population are likely to be affected, with nearly 28% in council housing and over 5% depending on the HA. Hodge Hill indicates similar statistics, with over 32% potentially being affected by Bedroom Tax. Over a quarter live in Local Authority Housing and nearly 7% live in a property provided by the HA.

Click on the image to view the full map.

Click on the image to view the full map.

This map shows where these highly affected areas are in Birmingham.

1 in 5 council tenants work full time

More than 20% of council tenants in the UK have a full time job, suggesting that full time workers are likely to be significantly affected by the Bedroom Tax. Around 265,000 people live in Local Authority Housing nationally. This is a large proportion of the estimated 660,000 people to be affected by the Bedroom Tax.

council3new

Statistics from 2011/2012 indicate that full time workers are potentially one of the most affected demographics. This sparks debate on whether hard working people and tax payers deserve to have their benefits cut as of April 2013. To many, the Bedroom Tax highly affecting those in full time work is likely to be seen as unfair and unjustified.

However, Councillor David Barrie (Conservative), believes Bedroom Tax is in the interest of the tax payer:

“As a hard working tax payer would you be happy to pay for someone else to live in expensive housing that you could not afford?”

Data released by the Government also shows that job seekers will potentially be the most affected by the Bedroom Tax, as over 22% of council tenants are looking for work. Around 1 in 5 of those living in Local Authority Housing are unemployed. This demographic is sure to see the most negative effects from the Bedroom Tax.

People to miss the upcoming policy change are to be students, where less than 2% live in council housing. Only 0.2% of council tenants are in training, so this group of tenants are also likely to not be affected.