Just to note that the 10 joined bedroom tax Judicial Review claims (for initial details see our note) are listed for full hearing on Wednesday to Friday next week (15-17 May). The claims involve a range of challenges to the regulations involving disabled adults, disabled children and children unable to share rooms for other reasons.
More details as soon as we get them.… Read the full post
The detail of this may have passed you by at the time, it certainly did me, but amongst the wind and posturing of David Cameron’s ‘big speech’ in March on stopping immigrants from getting things from healthcare to driving licences was quite a significant snippet on the private rental sector.
You have probably already registered the proposals for what Cameron calls ‘state sector’ housing – presumably meaning social housing – which is to introduce statutory allocation guidance:
New migrants should not expect to be given a home on arrival. And yet at present almost one in ten new social lettings go to foreign nationals. So, I am going to introduce
… Read the full post
At the very beginning of social housing, with the Peabody Estates in the 1860s, prospective tenants faced imposed requirements that we would now consider to be extraneous to the tenancy: Mandatory smallpox vaccinations; curfews; and cleaning rotas before 10 am for communal areas, sinks and WCs. But even the Victorian paternalists didn’t lower themselves to the patronising, small minded and teeth-grindingly passive-aggressive approach apparently in vogue for 21st century social landlords
Since the Localism Act, there has been a clear tendency for some local authorities to set conditions on access to social housing and retaining it which go into the realm of prescribing behaviour. Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth and Barnet, for example, have or are … Read the full post
Now that was a busy day on the Bedroom Tax front, complete with a parliamentary statement, new DWP Guidance to Local Authorities, rumours and conjecture.
Let us start with the definite bits.
The new Guidance on disabled children unable to share a bedroom. The text of the guidance, HB/CTB U2/2013 is at the end of this post, in full. The upshot is that the DWP is withdrawing its appeal against Burnip (or specifically against the finding in Gorry, the linked case) and accepts that LHA and Housing Benefit should pay for an ‘additional’ bedroom where that bedroom is required because of a child’s disability preventing them from sharing … Read the full post
Disabled children – “exempt” from the bedroom tax?
At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday [6 March 2013] David Cameron claimed that “anyone with severely disabled children is exempt from the spare room subsidy”, more commonly known as the “bedroom tax”. Leaving to one side the semantics around the changes to housing benefit due in April (the official title is the “social sector under-occupancy penalty”), this would be a welcome exception indeed. Unfortunately it doesn’t stand up to closer scrutiny. The Government is in fact fighting tooth and nail through the courts to ensure that no such exemption applies.
Under the new regulations which come into force in April, tenants in … Read the full post
Just a quick post to note that a Judicial Review of the bedroom tax regulations was apparently issued on Friday 1 March 2013. From this report, it appears that the grounds are along the lines of Burnip, as I suggested here, in that the basis is discrimination against children not able to share a bedroom through disability, with the addition of arguing that some are unable to share a bedroom 'because they are at risk of violence from a sibling, or because of the trauma they have experienced as a result of abuse and domestic violence'.
The cases are apparently being run by Rebekkah Carrier of Hopkin … Read the full post
With the beginning of the bedroom tax looming up for April and upwards of 700,000 households affected, I’ve been thinking about the position when the inevitable rent arrears possessions start to appear – probably by about October – and also whether the statute itself is open to challenge.
A quick reminder – from April all working age social housing tenants (and from October 2013 some pensioners, when both members of a couple will need to be over state pension age to escape) will see a deduction of 14% of rent from their housing benefit (not 14% of housing benefit) if they are deemed to have one surplus bedroom, 25% for … Read the full post