Pledge not to evict households forced into arrears by the Bedroom Tax
We, the undersigned, call on Camden Council to take a firm stance against the damaging welfare benefit reforms. Firm action needs to be taken in particular against the Bedroom Tax and the Council Benefit cuts, the former because of the unacceptably small space it allows a household, and for both, because these unfair charges cannot be avoided even by adjusting and moving to a lower cost area.
We believe that the Bedroom tax will push people into arrears, risk making them homeless and a be bigger burden on the State, or force them to live in accommodation which is not appropriate having a negative impact in particular on the achievement of young people. Camden Council needs to begin by reclassifying smaller rooms, but must also make it absolutely clear that people forced into arrears because of this charge will not be evicted.
The latest Camden Council research http://www.camdendata.info/AddDocuments1/Impacts%20of%20welfare%20changes%20Cabinet%20Policy%20Briefing%2017%20April%20PUBLIC.pdf shows that 1994 households will be affected by the Bedroom Tax in Camden.
The Green-led Brighton Council has pledged that tenants will not be evicted because of arrears caused by the Bedroom tax.
The SNP-led Dundee Council has done the same.
The Labour-led Leeds Council has managed to re-classify rooms, thus saving tenants from being affected by the Bedroom Tax.
We call on Camden Council to support those who need it most, and adopt a policy not to evict households forced into arrears because of the Bedroom Tax or loss of Council Tax benefit. To achieve this, we urge the Council to begin by classifying rooms to ensure that very small rooms don't lead to the bedroom tax being activated.
We recognise that there are other unfair benefit cuts, but these are some of the worst as there is no way of people avoiding arrears or living standards below what it is reasonable to expect wherever they live.
- Leader of Camden Council
Councillor Sarah Hayward
- Cabinet Member for Housing
Councillor Julian Fulbrook
- Cabinet Member for Finance
Councillor Theo Blackwell
We call on you, as Leader and Cabinet Members of Camden Council, to adopt a policy not to evict households forced into arrears by the Bedroom Tax. We understand Councils are in between a rock and a hard place. With funding constraints and top down pressures many Councils feel forced into adopting the bedroom tax.
Yet there is an alternative. Brighton Green Council, Dundee SNP Council & Labour Leeds councils have each come up with innovative ways of subverting the bedroom tax. By refusing to evict those that cannot afford the bedroom tax and by reclassifying extra bedrooms, Councils can effectively mitigate the noxious Bedroom Tax. We call on you as a Council to explore alternatives, and work on introducing a policy that protects the poor from the worst excesses of Coalition Policy. This fight is not party political. Parties of all stripes have joined the fight, let's work together to protect our most vulnerable.
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