'Bedroom tax' will force Hull couple to move after 20 years
MORE than 220 homes in North Bransholme could be hit by the Government's bedroom tax.
Social landlord Riverside has said the demand for smaller housing will far outweigh the number currently available on the estate.
However, the company is working to bring bedsits back into use and convert them into one-bedroom houses and flats.
A Riverside spokesman said: "One of our big problems with the bedroom tax is that we simply don't have enough smaller properties."
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Riverside has written to all of their residents explaining how much benefit it expects them to lose and what their options are regarding downsizing their homes.
Under the new law, tenants are allowed one bedroom for every adult couple, one room for any other single adult aged over 16, one room for any two children of the same sex under 16, any two children under ten and one room for any other child whose main home is elsewhere.
Carl Mitchell, operations manager at Riverside's Bransholme office, said: "We are very concerned about the impact of benefit cuts on our tenants and the business, having campaigned against a number of aspects of the Welfare Reform Bill as it went through Parliament, this included the bedroom tax.
"Even though there are limited opportunities for tenants to avoid many of the changes that are being introduced, we are trying to mitigate against the impact."
Paul and Tish Holmes, of Greygarth Close, moved into their four-bedroom house shortly after they were married 20 years ago.
It is where they brought up four daughters. Due to Tish's severe arthritis, their home has been fitted with a modified shower, stairlift and ramps.
The new rule means they will be forced to move because they cannot find the extra £80 per month.
They will not be allowed spare bedrooms for visitors or for when Tish, 59, is so ill she has to sleep alone.
Paul, 55, said: "This is our home. We don't want to go but we're being forced to.
"Even if they put us in a two-bedroom flat they would still charge us for under-occupancy. I don't know who dreamed this tax up but it's ruining lives."
Councillors Peter Clark and Anita Harrison share the concerns of residents.
Cllr Harrison said: "This government should hang their heads in shame.
"They are persecuting the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. This must stop know."