Housing Associations move to no evictions for bedroom tax policy
Here’s an encouraging piece of Stop the Bedroom Tax news (Though I’d say that as it’s not tenable to separate “rent arrears caused by the bedroom tax” from “rent arrears”, we need to keep watching the HAs to make sure that no-one’s evicted.)
Muirhouse Against the Bedroom Tax welcomes the statement, made in a letter to us by Muirhouse Housing Association’s chairperson, that MHA will support tenants who get into rent arrears because of the cut in Housing Benefit which began on 1st April, 2013 (which we call the Bedroom Tax). The Muirhouse Housing Association letter, dated 23 May 2013 and signed by Michael Woods, states: “As in Edinburgh Council’s situation, as long as a tenant engages with us, we will not escalate action to a legal stage.”
This contrasts with the actions of Southway Housing in Manchester, who took a tenant, Ella Lorelli, to court demanding full payment of rent arrears, including arrears due to the Bedroom Tax. Ella was supported at court by 20 members of Withington (Manchester) Against the Bedroom Tax, and also by a representative of the court workers’ trade union, the PCS, who said “We have got to fight the Bedroom Tax.”
We welcome the commitment of Muirhouse Housing Association and City of Edinburgh Council to avoiding legal action.
As a group, we will support any tenant facing legal action over non-payment of the Bedroom Tax, and we will be supported by the other groups in Edinburgh affiliated to the Lothian and Scottish Federations of Anti Bedroom Tax Groups. Any tenant facing threats of legal action should contact us at 07910 845570 or 0776 3204906 (both Virgin).
NOTE: The Lothian Federation of anti bedroom tax groups can now aim to pressurise the other Housing Associations in Edinburgh and Lothians to take the same “no evictions” stance.