Tenants to be hit by 'bedroom tax'
MORE than 400 housing tenants in Torbay are set to be hit by an under-occupancy penalty which comes into force next month a campaign group estimates.
And of those affected by what critics have branded the 'bedroom tax', more than half are disabled according to the National Housing Federation.
The group argues the financial assistance being provided to these households will fail to cover the shortfall in lost benefit.
The Government has come in for fierce criticism over the changes coming into force on April 1, which will see housing benefit cut for people in social housing with spare bedrooms.
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The Tory led coalition argues the proposals will save money and help deal with a housing shortage by encouraging people to move out of homes that are too big for them.
But opponents like the NHF say the plans are 'flawed' which will unfairly penalise households, and are calling for an urgent rethink.
Under the move, the federation estimates 444 people in Torbay will be affected, of whom 280 are disabled.
They face losing on average £637 a year if they have one spare room and £1,137 for two or more, according to the group.
The number of other people affected (including disabled) and the average amount they face losing in other areas is:
Mid Devon — 423 (266) £530 to £947
South Hams — 377 (238) £624 to £1,114
Teignbridge — 472 (297) £578 to £1,032.
These families faced having to pay more rent or move out, the federation said.
Catherine Brabner, South West lead manager for the federation, said: ". The 'one-size-fits-all' approach takes no account of disabled people's adapted homes, of foster parents who need rooms, or of parents sharing custody."