Figures obtained by Jessica Morden shows that many people who have previously kept up with rental payments are now struggling with rent arrears since the introduction of the bedroom tax.
The figures supplied by housing associations which cover the Newport and Monmouthshire areas reveal an average increase of 55% of tenants, affected by the bedroom tax, falling into rent arrears. These tenants were previously not in arrears with their housing associations, but subsequently fell into arrears since the April 1st 2013. To date, the total amount of arrears owed to Housing Associations by these tenants stands at £197,445.71
We are talking about people who were just keeping their heads above water, but ensuring their rent was paid. This tax is pushing them over the edge. So far, housing associations are taking the financial hit, but that cannot continue forever. It seems this terrible tax will not only mean homelessness will go up, but it will also weaken the financial ability of housing associations to reinvest in upgrading their houses and buying new homes. Ministers have argued that those affected would be able to find the extra money, these figures starkly show this is not the case.