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Selby council house tenants face cuts in housing benefit
9:21am Tuesday 26th February 2013 in News
HUNDREDS of council tenants in Selby with spare rooms could face cuts to their housing benefits.
The Press understands about 350 letters have already been sent by Selby District Council to tenants who have one bedroom which is not being used, and about 68 have been sent to tenants in properties where two bedrooms are not used.
The move is part of a Government scheme to encourage tenants in under-occupied homes to move to smaller properties, by reducing housing benefits by between 14 per cent and 25 per cent, depending on the number of unused bedrooms. Residents are then expected to make up the difference themselves, or look to transfer to a smaller property.
Council leader Mark Crane, said: “We’re contacting everyone affected by these changes, but we want to ensure you’ve as many opportunities as possible to get all the information you need about these important changes.
“This is part of a national reform to welfare, designed to support a better use of available council and other social housing, to save money nationally and to give greater powers to local councils to deliver Council Tax Support to meet the needs of each area. As part of this we’ve had to take some tough decisions about how this support is delivered, but we believe we’ve been as fair and just as possible.”
The new rules allow one bedroom for every adult couple, married or unmarried, any other adult aged 16 or over, any two children of the same sex aged under 16, any two children aged under 10, any other child or carer who does not live at the property, but provides overnight care. Pensioners will see no change to their entitlement.
A series of drop-in sessions will be held for residents with any queries about the changes, as follows:
• Today, 1pm to 3pm, Manor Farm Youth Centre, Tadcaster
• Tomorrow, 10am to 12pm, Brotherton Childrens’ Centre
• Thursday, 10am to 12pm, Sherburn-in- Elmet Library
If you are concerned about under-occupancy, you can contact your community officer by email at email@example.com or phone 01757 705101, or alternatively visit the Customer Contact Centre in Market Cross to make an appointment.