Secretary of State says unused bedrooms are unfair to 9,000 Plymouth households
Iain Duncan Smith, right, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, defends his strategy for freeing up unused bedrooms
WHEN 9,182 households are stuck on a waiting list for social housing in Plymouth, there's a big problem that needs addressing.
And it can't be right that 15,000 households across the South West are living in an overcrowded home.
There's nothing fair about making families wait and wait for a house that is big enough, while other households on benefits are allowed to live in homes that are too big for their needs, at no extra cost.
Come and have a look at the extensive range of tiles we have in stock at our Drake Mill, Estover showroom. Most items in stock to take away or delivery option available.
Terms: Showromm open Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm and Friday 9am - 3pm.
Contact: 01752 421047
Valid until: Saturday, June 15 2013
Many working families in Plymouth cannot afford the luxury of having spare bedrooms, and the Government cannot afford to pay for bedrooms that are not being used.
That's why from April housing benefit claimants living in social housing with spare bedrooms will be expected to make a contribution towards the rent for those spare rooms.
On average, the extra charge for claimants will be £14 a week. Some people will decide to take up work or work a few more hours to cover the difference. Others will want to move to more appropriately sized accommodation or take in a lodger.
This change will bring housing benefit for social housing claimants in line with what happens in the private sector already.
Ending the spare room subsidy will help us get a better grip of our social housing – and give hope to those households in Plymouth who are currently squeezed into overcrowded homes.
Of course there will be situations where it would not make sense for people to move, or where personal circumstances mean that extra support will be necessary.
That's why we have given £155million to local authorities to help with these cases. This includes £30 million targeted specifically at helping disabled people whose homes have been adapted and for foster carers.
Councils and housing associations across the country are getting ready for this reform by running housing swaps, and other innovative programmes.
We will be able to make better use of social housing in Plymouth, and help more families into their own home, whilst keeping the welfare budget under control.
At the same time we will make sure that people in difficult situations are protected. That's fair.