Bedroom Tax affects disabled persons

Living alone and suffering from Asperger, a 52 years disabled women residing in a three bedroom house at Birmingham has been affected by Bedroom tax. She has one son who is married and settled in life. Her husband has passed away six years ago and continues to live in the same house facing lots of problems.

She explains her difficulties that she faces in day today life:

“I am suffering from Asperger. It has a terrible Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It takes me more than an hour to get out of my house. I am being helped by my friendly neighbour, whom i have known for the past 27 years, to reach the road from my house.

“Due to my weak health conditions, I could not make new trusted friends. I fear I will be housebound, if I could not get support of my friends.”

Being reminded of her husband, she says:

“I was with my husband for 30 years and felt terribly when I missed him 6 years back. I feel suicidal and need to have counseling and hypnosis. But my Asperger remains.

“My home is full of memories. I honestly don’t know how to cope up with the new financial constraints. I feel my husband around me all the time here. I don’t want to lose that.

“My late husband got the house as per our needs. He decked the garden and my son designed the drive way costing around 2,000 pounds. My house is not a council house to leave just like that.

“I can’t start again my life in another house/flat with decoration, carpet, and garden. And I am claustrophobic, so a flat would be out of question any way.”

Considering her family, she says:

“I have two wonderful grand kids who would like to stay overnight in my house. Due to my health problems, this shouldn’t affect the kids by not having rooms to stay over.”

The lady has approached the council and local AP expressing her problems and worries, whose response was that to stay and pay the taxes or move to a different place. According to her, The bedroom tax would cause destruction across the country.

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I will be evicted and will lose the house, the children, and my job

Separated parents will lose the chance to see their children due to The Bedroom Tax. Mother of two, Kim Le Grys Cotton split up with her husband several years ago, ending up with her being responsible for her daughter and him, her son.

The Bedroom Tax will prevent Kim from supporting her children with a single room each as she will be charged extra for the ‘spare room’.

As Kim is already suffering from financial difficulties she will be unable to support the extra costs which may potentially lead to her not seeing her children.

“At the moment the children don’t know anything. They didn’t want the current living situation, they wanted to come back and live with me full time, and see there dad every other weekend, so they are continually hoping that will happen somehow.”

The public are upset on how the innocent are being attacked by The Bedroom Tax, Kim worries;

“It its potentially splitting families up, especially parents who only see their kids at the weekends, and may have spent a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of emotion going through court to get that access to their children.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgDx9l4WqWY

Alex Milne is another separated parent who will be affected by The Bedroom Tax. He is terrified of losing contact with his two children Rhiann, 10 and Billy, 3. He will be charged an extra £40 a month for his ‘spare room’ that is their for his daughter, he believes that without that room, she will not want to stay with him anymore.

To watch the short documentary of alex’s story, click on this link

‘This was my home, my safe place for 31 years, but not any more’

A 59 year old disabled woman from Birmingham talks about how she will be hit by the Bedroom Tax. She has been living in the house for the past 31 years and she finds it as a difficult task to leave the place.

Requesting anonymity, she explains her situation:

“I have been living in a social housing arrangement in Birmingham for 31 years. I am on Disability Living Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as I have Scoliosis and suffer from long standing anxiety attacks and depression.

“From the age of 15, I had been working in a factory 40 hours a week and paying my taxes. I have done a lot of physical lifting and carrying and cleaning. Even after my marriage, I had to work for my three children. Now all got settled in their life and left home.

“I live in a three bedroom house as it was allocated to me 31 years ago when I had three children to bring up. It is my home, my safe place. Words cannot express how upset I am and how this decision is affecting my illnesses.”

She considers Bedroom Tax to be all about social cleansing. Getting rid of the poor, disabled people of society and slowly squeezing the life out of them and making them suffer are the reasons for introducing such taxes.

Criticising the government, she says:

“I believe this government is ashamed of disabled and poor people because this tax does not affect anyone else. If you have the money you can stay in an under occupied house but if you are dependent on benefits you can’t afford to stay as you don’t have enough money to pay and eat or heat.

“I think the government will just top up the causes they choose to support with the extra money. I suspect none of this money will be spent to build more suitable housing after they’re sold. In fact they’re still selling their social housing stock at ridiculous knock down prices.”

Housing benefit enables me to live like a human being. Take that away from me and I may as well be a homeless animal scrounging around the wealthy’s bins for food.”

She says there is no one-bedroom accommodation available under her housing benefits scheme.

” I will have to suffer and pay more. I am living on the edge of fear all the time and feel very ill and frightened. I had a life, when once looked forward to being this age, enjoying with grandchildren. But not anymore.”

To solve such problems at least in future, she shares her opinion saying that the government can implement the changes with new tenancies after April 1st. This would create awareness among people and plan their future expenses accordingly. Instead of not just dropping this bombshell out of the blue and causing untold misery and hardships.

Single working mother shares a room with 4 year old disabled son.

A single mother from Ladywood is having to share her room with her four year old disabled son as Birmingham’s housing waiting list continues to grow.

The woman from Ladywood fears the taxation will only be adding to a worsening housing situation as more people look for the appropriate sized accommodation.

The single mother, who wishes to remain anonymous,  feels the council should begin to tackle Birmingham’s so called housing crisis before implementing the taxation.

“There is a obvious housing situation here and the Bedroom Tax will only add to this.”

 

After being on the waiting list for over a year the mother of one thinks the taxation is a good idea to encourage people to downsize but is left wondering what is currently being done to support those needing bigger properties?

waiting list

Table found from West Midlands, National Housing, Home Truths, 2012

In response to WMBUS partnership, which aims to pool 1,500 houses for tenants looking to downsize, the single mother stated,

“They need to take into consideration the people on the waiting lists before they start to pool houses for those who need to downsize.”

The answer to this apparent worsening situation is believed by the woman to lie within derelict housing,

“There are so many houses not in use so why are the government not using up these houses?”

Listen below to our conversation with the single mother.

In relation to the housing issue Katie Moore a research and development coordinator at WM housing will be a part of a live discussion today between 12-2pm which will be headed by an expert panel.  Katie will be putting forward our concerns on ways of not passing ‘the Bedroom Tax’ onto undeserving tenants.

We shall be awaiting to hear back from what the panel has to say using this case as an example of what should not be happening.

Unfortunately Katie Moore was unable to put forward our concerns as the discussion focussed more on what housing providers can do to protect tenants .Although the review of the discussion will be published later in the week.

The review of the discussion outlined the ways housing providers can protect tenants from the penalty. Katie Moore highlighted in the discussion that WM housing will be looking into providing moving costs for customers.

The Guardian have outlined the discussions main points in a review.