100 signatures reached
To: Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council
‘No Eviction’ Pledge for Bedroom Tax Arrears in Nottingham
We, the undersigned, call on Nottingham City Council to publicly refuse to evict all Nottingham City Council (i.e.Nottingham City Homes) tenants who fall into rent arrears as a result of the government imposed 'Under-Occupancy Charge' or Bedroom Tax.
In addition we ask that you lobby all other social landlords in the Nottinghamshire area to publicly refuse to evict all their tenants who fall into arrears as a result of the ‘Bedroom Tax’.
Why is this important?
This is a petition, FOR the people, BY the people, with no political agenda or aims!
The reduction in Housing Benefit under the ‘Under-Occupancy charge’ or Bedroom Tax, affects 5,500 people in Nottingham and many of these people are the most vulnerable members of society whom we should be protecting – those with physical & mental health problems, their carers; single and divorced parents, survivors of domestic violence, to name just a few groups.
The Office of National Statistics report shows that Nottingham has the lowest disposable income per household than anywhere else in the UK – the average annual income per individual household after tax including benefits is £16,034, whilst in Nottingham it is only £10,834. This shows that residents of Nottingham are even LESS able to absorb this reduction in their benefits, and thus will have a massive detrimental impact on their ability to pay all of their bills AND be able to feed themselves and their families.
Putting aside the moral and ethical issues about this cruel policy, the Bedroom Tax is impractical and ill thought-out as it will neither free up social housing – for the 5,500 Nottingham people hit, only 35 1-2 bedroom properties became available to downsize to last year – nor will it save money as privately rented accommodation (as no social housing available!) has higher rents for smaller properties!
According to a report by Shelter, the cost of evicting a Local Authority tenant (with all its associated costs) is just under £6,700. By comparison, a tenants average annual arrears caused by the Bedroom Tax arrears is £670. So the Council could allow a tenant to run up 10 YEARS of arrears before it would equal the same amount to evict them.
Broxtowe Borough Council has already made a ‘No Eviction’ Pledge, and other Notthinghamshire Councils are putting forward similar motions, so we urge that Nottingham City Council does not get left behind and makes this pledge also.