Have you heard about the changes to the housing benefit system? Do you live in a Parkway Green or Willow Park property or other housing association home and have some or all of your rent paid by the council or housing benefit?
There are changes coming in next April that mean if you are under 61 and claiming housing benefit then this could affect you!
This is part of the government’s Welfare Reform, and it is not being brought about by the housing trusts –the government are doing this across the whole country.
The changes are about the number of bedrooms you have in your property and what the new rules say you need.
If you have spare bedrooms your housing benefit will be reduced. If one spare bedroom it will be reduced by 14% and if two spare bedrooms it will be reduced by 25%. This will mean approximately £12 per week for one spare bedroom, and about £22 per week for two spare bedrooms. You will then need to pay this money to Parkway Green or Willow Park yourself.
You may think that this doesn’t affect you, but the new rules are very strict, and mean that if you have two children of the same sex, they will be expected to share a bedroom until they are 16, so you could be affected. Also, if your children are under 10 they will be expected to share a bedroom regardless of whether they are the same sex or not, so again you could be affected.
Disabled tenants who have a carer will only be allowed a spare bedroom for that carer if the carer is registered as living elsewhere and the middle or higher rate of DLA is payable.
Parkway Green and Willow Park have been contacting tenants who we think may be affected, so if this affects you and you have not yet discussed this with Parkway Green or Willow Park then get in touch with them now. It is estimated that nearly 4000 tenants will be affected by this in Wythenshawe.
The housing trusts can offer advice and guidance on what you can do, so don’t ignore this if you think you may be affected, get in touch with Parkway Green on 0300 111 0000 or Willow Park on 0800 633 5500 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org – both trusts also have more information on their websites too, and a link to a video with all the facts on it.
The housing trusts can also offer advice on downsizing to another property, help on employment support or training, and advice on budgeting. If you already have debts the housing trusts can also offer advice on the best way to start to prepare for the changes in April.
So, don’t ignore the letter or visit – Parkway Green and Willow Park are trying to help you prepare for the changes, get in touch with them to make sure you know how you will be affected!