Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Alert over our shortage of social housing

The idiotic bedroom tax will potentially affect 32,000 homes in Northern Ireland.

That's a lot of people uprooted, effectively being evicted from their homes. There is no sense to this. It's absolute nonsense, when the cost in keeping alcoholics in Northern Ireland is running at £14m per year. The actual extra bedroom cost is estimated at £17m per year from the block grant. Which is more important? Feeding booze to alcoholics, or putting people out of their homes? This tax is madness.

Paddy Trevors

Just looking at those figures, I'm wondering how much money could be saved if the Government stopped using 'expenses' to pay for their mortgages on second homes (and even their 'first' homes)? I'm sure there'd be a fair few million saved every year if all those MPs had to pay for their own mortgages, instead of just putting them all on expenses. Maybe even enough to offset the cost of all these 'spare' bedrooms all these social housing tenants are stealing from the taxpayer every year?

Ravindavin

If there's a penalty being attached to 'excess' bedrooms in the social sector, why is this being applied to the benefit recipient? Nelson McCausland admits that there is a stock mismatch and the Housing Executive will confirm that the reductions will be made regardless of the availability of suitable accommodation. Very often, tenants were allocated housing that was in excess of their immediate needs for very sound housing management reasons.

Emmet Grogan

A very good piece. The fact is we don't have the housing stock of one-bed homes. So the question remains: how is the Assembly going to house/re-house these people? Furthermore, as this issue will no doubt put tenants in arrears, resulting in not being able to get clear references, they will not get re-housed anyway.

Paddy Trevors

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