Recent News

Mum’s alarm over bedroom-tax row

A fed up mum is in dispute with Oldham Council after claiming she has wrongly been paying bedroom tax. 

Heather Crimes (59) lives in a three-bedroom house in Helvellyn Walk, Higginshaw. Her two children no longer live with her and she has had to pay an extra £21.64 a week for the spare bedrooms.  

New twist in bedroom tax loophole saga as DWP reveals more tenants eligible for refunds

More people could be eligible for a refund on the bedroom tax following further clarification about the loophole debacle from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The government initially issued guidance which stated that people who had been in a property prior to 1996 and continuously entitled to housing benefit were exempt from paying the controversial under-occupation penalty, along with those who inherited tenancies from their partner following their death. 

1000% rise in homeless families forced out of London

The number of homeless families with school-age children being housed outside London by their local authorities has soared dramatically over the last four years.

Figures obtained by London Assembly Green Party member Darren Johnson show that 21 families were shifted outside the capital in 2010/11 but that the number had risen to 222 in the first three quarters of 2013/14 - a 1,000% increase. 

DWP warned over portrayal of benefit claimants

Ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions have been criticised by MPs for using language that "feeds into negative public views about benefit recipients".

In a report today, the DWP select committee said the Department need to "exercise care" in the language used  in press releases and ministerial comments.

Government's empty homes record slammed

The Welsh government has been slammed for making little progress with a scheme to bring void houses back into use.

Peter Black, the Welsh Liberal Democrats' housing spokesperson, has expressed concerns after recent statistics showed that the government's 'Houses into Homes' scheme has brought only 313 empty properties back into use during the 18-months between its launch and September 2013. 

London is world's fifth-dearest 'high end rent city'

London may routinely win the dubious race to be the most expensive place in the world to buy a home but when it comes to rental property, it comes only fifth.

ECA International, a body that analyses expenses associated with globe-trotting business executives, says high-end rents for an executive's typical apartment - three bedrooms, in a sought-after area of the capital - have risen about two per cent in London in the past year and now stand at £5,000 per month. 

Record drop of empty homes in England

The number of empty homes in England fell by the biggest ever annual drop in 2013 to 635,127, research has found.

According to today’s figures compiled by campaigning charity Empty Homes, the amount of empty homes in England decreased by 75,000 to 635,127 in 2013 – the lowest level ever recorded. 

Hundreds of housing association tenants escape welfare reform

Hundreds of tenants have escaped the impact of welfare reform, but their housing association landlord warns the real problem may be how tenants are paying.

Mark Rogers, chief executive of Circle Housing, said 20 per cent of its tenants who were hit by the bedroom tax, and 40 per cent of those hit by the overall benefit cap, were no longer affected by the changes. 

Landlords set to lose out for blacklisting tenants

Local Housing Allowance rates – the allowances paid to people claiming housing benefits - which will take effect from April this year have been published by the Department for Work and Pensions.

And a number of the 16 categories for shared bedroom and one, two and three bedroom properties have gone up - prompting criticism of landlords who "jumped the gun" and banned applicants on housing benefit. 

Bedroom tax 'helping to end child poverty'

The bedroom tax is helping to reduce child deprivation, ministers have claimed.

A new draft child poverty strategy for 2014 to 2017, which was launched by work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and education minister David Laws yesterday, lists the ‘removal of the spare room subsidy’ as one of the measures that is helping to improve the living standards of low-income families.