Under Occupancy Penalty - Bedroom Tax

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By Yarlington | Friday, March 08, 2013, 14:47

Over a thousand families across South Somerset will be forced to pay more rent or move out of their homes when the under-occupancy penalty (commonly known as the 'bedroom tax') comes in on 1 April.

1,061 people in this district will lose an average of £609 a year in Housing Benefit if they have one 'spare' bedroom in their council or housing association home and £1,087 a year if they have two or more1.

Local housing provider, Yarlington, has been preparing for this change over recent months, encouraging all of it residents who are affected by the changes to get in touch to see how they can be helped.

"We have a number of measures in place" said Incomes manager Jim Bruckel. "800 of those families in South Somerset are Yarlington residents. We have been running a campaign to help people who may not be able to afford to remain in their current homes to move into smaller properties, and also offer budgeting advice to them.

"The bedroom tax is one of a number of changes being brought about by the welfare reform, the Council Tax reform also takes effect on 1st April, so it is vital that anyone who is worried that they may be affected gets in touch with us as soon as they can, and doesn't leave it until the changes come into force" he added.

Chief Executive Gary Orr said "These changes are not being brought about by us, but we are doing everything we can to help those residents who will be hit by the cuts. We have taken on extra staff to cope with the increase in enquiries and we will continue to work with residents even after the 1st April to bring about a manageable solution for them."

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