Despite my need for our second bedroom and the space it provides, I am doing the “right thing” and also looking for a new home which, under the criteria of the “bedroom tax”, is “more suitable and adequate”. I don’t like it, as I’m sure you can understand, but it is the right thing to do.
In east Lancashire, lettings for social housing are dealt with through a centralised website which lists properties on a weekly basis and asks potential tenants to “bid” on properties which are of interest. So far, so good. Right?
Well, no, sadly. And this is where the ridiculousness of the bedroom tax comes in to sharp focus.
As a disabled man I’m somewhat limited as to the type of property I need. You’ll forgive me if I don’t go into all the details. And do you know how many suitable properties, up until this week, have been available since I registered?
Crazy isn’t it?
This week, however, a miracle has occurred. There’s two properties available to bid on. But I found myself unable to bid on both because I’m younger than 55, despite them both being extremely suitable to my needs. Naturally, I was very unhappy with this so have spent the last few days in discussions with the company and this morning they removed that barrier. But that’s not the end of the problem.
The properties are a one-bedroom flat and a one-bedroom bungalow. The bungalow has three people bidding on it (with bidding ending today) so I’m not entirely confident that I’ll be in the running for that. The flat, however, has one bid on it - mine. And it is perfect for me and my wife. So we went to have a look at it - only to be told that someone else is being considered for it outside of the bidding process and is in line to be offered the property, making a complete mockery of the whole process!
Hence the brick wall and a headache.
It’s important to also note that both the properties I’ve bid on are actually more expensive (almost £20 a week more expensive in both cases) than the one we’re currently in, but will be fully covered by housing benefit and therefore cost the council more, making a complete mockery out of the government’s reasons for doing this.
And these are the reasons the bedroom tax does not, and will not, work.
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