Bedroom Tax success

One Morley resident has been spared the burden of the bedroom tax after she got in touch and I took up her case. 

Auxilia Mapuranga, who has serious medical conditions, contacted me a few months back for help when she was faced with the bedroom tax which would have cost her an additional £9.83 a week to remain in her 2-bedroom flat in Morley.

I contacted Aire Valley Homes to explain the financial hardship Mrs Mapuranga was experiencing and my concern about the impact on her welfare.

Within a fortnight Aire Valley Homes responded and told me:

“I am pleased to advise that we have now received confirmation the Discretionary Housing Payment has been processed for Mrs Mapuranga and the UnderOccupancy Charge of £9.83 will be paid … this will now clear all the rent arrears for Mrs Mapuranga.”

Mrs Mapuranga told me what a relief it was to get it all sorted out. Of course money has to be saved from the benefits bill but changes have to be fair, and the vulnerable have to be protected.

The bedroom tax is affecting about 2,000 local families, two thirds of them have a disability and others including divorced parents whose kids come and stay with them all affected. Despite pushing this through, the Government admits there aren’t enough smaller properties for tenants to move into. Mrs Mapuranga told me she would happily have moved to a smaller flat but that none were available.

This comes as little surprise. In a recent letter from Leeds City Council, I was told:

“There is a distinct shortage of 1 bedroom properties across the city. Over 4,500 of the tenants affected by under-occupation have a 1 bedroom housing need. In comparison, the Council let 1,501 non-sheltered 1 bedroom properties last year.”

So disabled people, like Mrs Mapuranga are being asked in their thousands to pay more, but there’s no option to move home to avoid paying as no other homes are available.

I’m pleased Mrs Mapuranga’s case has now been sorted out but for thousands of other local families the nightmare of the bedroom tax continues. Anyone who needs help, should email me or call my office on 0113 253 9466.

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Posted August 9th, 2013 by Ed's team