As you may know there are plans to change the rules around housing benefit in April 2013 and it seems in my area the council is already putting out letters to people who may be affected or who they think are living in a underoccupied property. A friend’s sister who lives in a 2 bedroom bungalow because of mobility problems caused by a childhood illness has received a letter with a form to fill in stating her circumstances. Her circumstances have been the same for years. She never in fact needed the 2 bedrooms, as she is childless and although when she was allocated the bungalow her husband was alive they did share the same bedroom. Obviously at the time it must not have been important to the council that she had a spare bedroom but it appears now it may be. As I understand it provision has been made for disabled people to enable them to be exempt in certain circumstances from these rules, but the doubt and stress caused by the thought that you may be compelled to move can’t be underestimated. This lady lives very close by her elderly mother and they are a support to each other. I know some people may advocate them moving in together but this would mean the mum moving in with daughter as this is where the spare room is. This would be an upheaval for the mum as she is quite elderly.
Unfortunately this government aren’t interested in the wellbeing of their electorate just grabbing back as much money from the poor as they can. Meanwhile they continue to abuse the expenses system to the tune of millions whilst those on low incomes or benefits are having pennies, but pennies which really count for them, taken away at every opportunity. Whilst it may make financial sense to make these changes the inequality of it all makes me sick and the morality of forcing people out of their homes is disgusting and in my opinion will only lead to more unrest. After all would you spend money you can’t really spare making your home nice if you are always living with the threat of having to leave? I can see this costing councils more in repairs when tenants leave as their housing stock becomes no more than temporary housing which people have no regard for. Progress I don’ t think so.