Some people cannot spare their so-called ‘spare room’
Carers UK thinks itâ€™s unfair that carers and disabled people who live in social housing and need an extra bedroom are being penalised under the new Housing Benefit rules. We think the so-calledÂ â€˜bedroom taxâ€™ should exempt those who are caring for someone they live with.
There are lots of reasons why carers and disabled people need an extra room:
Tracey would love to share a bedroom with her husband like other married couples but Tony sleeps in a hospital bed and depends on life saving medical equipment that fills the room.
Daveâ€™s wife Jan has cerebral palsy and spasms uncontrollably throughout the night waking him constantly. If he’s going to be fit in the morning for his job as a Fork lift operator, then sometimes he has to sleep in the ‘spare’ room.
Stephanie is 8 and her younger sister Amy has learning and physical disabilities that mean she wakes up throughout the night, often talking or shouting. This kept Stephanie awake and her tiredness affected her school work, so now she has own room.
New Government policy will say that Tracey, Dave and Stephanie all have homes that are too big for their needs. They say those extra rooms are a luxury. Under new Housing Benefit rules, they will have to pay extra for these rooms or be forced to move, facing debt or isolation from the friends and family who help them care.
Weâ€™ve told the government of our concerns but so far they say carers should be treated the same as everyone else.
We want you to write to your MP and ask them to write to the Chancellor to make an exemption for carers in the Budget from the changes to Housing Benefit.
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