The UK Government’s changes to Housing Benefit have had a significant impact on claimants in Scotland. In this briefing, we have concentrated on the developing impact of the ‘bedroom tax’.
In the seven weeks since the introduction of the ‘Bedroom Tax’, more than 700 affected tenants have approached a citizens advice bureau in Scotland for advice.
A range of people are affected by the changes, including those with specially adapted homes for their health conditions, separated parents who potentially face losing access to their children, those living in rural communities who face moving away from families and friends, and tenants who are struggling to find alternative accommodation despite being willing to move.
So far, bureaux are seeing clients on the verge of crisis. Many are building up arrears, some are trying to cope through Discretionary Housing Payments, and others are trying to find smaller accommodation. Despite the best efforts of social landlords and advice agencies, many of these clients will reach crisis point in the coming weeks and months.