Bedroom tax could affect 115 households . . .

Around 115 residents could be affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ in the Brighouse area, it has been revealed.

And it is thought that the total housing benefit loss per week will be around £1,594 in Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, Brighouse and Rastrick wards.

Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) has received figures from Calderdale Council that show in the Brighouse ward 33 residents will be affected when the ‘bedroom tax’ comes into force in April.

The average weekly loss is £12.78 per person, which means it is £422 a week and over a year £21,932.

In Hipperholme and Lightcliffe there are 22 residents that will be affected with an average weekly loss of £14.87 per person, which means a weekly loss of £327 and in a year £17,016.

Sixty residents will be affected in Rastrick at an average cost of £14.09. This is £845 a week and in a year it is £43,951.

Councillor Stout said he had only been contacted by three people who were worried about the tax. “I am concerned if anyone feels they have been forced out rather than moving on their own time. This new tax does not affect people living in private accommodation.”

But Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “When 7,614 households are stuck on a waiting list for social housing in Calderdale, there’s a big problem that needs addressing.

“And it can’t be right that 14,000 households across Yorkshire and the Humber are living in an overcrowded home. There’s nothing fair about making families wait and wait for a house that is big enough, while other households on benefits are allowed to live in homes that are too big for their needs, at no extra cost.”

He said many working families in Brighouse cannot afford the luxury of having space rooms, and the Government cannot afford to pay for bedrooms that are not being used.

“That’s why from April Housing Benefit claimants living in social housing with spare bedrooms will be expected to make a contribution towards the rent for those spare rooms.

“I know there’s been a lot of debate over this policy – the removal of the Spare Room Subsidy – and of course I understand some people will have concerns.”

Read his full views on the letter’s page.