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Written by Claire Munro Tuesday, 13 December 2011 11:49Scottish members of the House of Lords are being urged to back a crucial amendment... which will prevent thousands of Scots tenants being unfairly penalised, as the Welfare Reform Bill reaches Report Stage in the House of Lords today (Monday 12th December 2011).
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has written to all Scots Lords urging them to back Lord Best's amendment on ‘under-occupation' of properties (1).
Maureen Watson, Policy and Strategy Director at the SFHA said:
"This is possibly the last opportunity to amend the Welfare Reform Bill to prevent some gross unfairness to particular groups of tenants in Scotland and elsewhere.
"The SFHA is urging all Scottish Lords to back Lord Best's amendment on ‘under-occupation' which would prevent tenants with a ‘spare' room unfairly having their help with housing costs docked. Often there are simply no smaller properties for people to move to - leaving them in an impossible situation.
"We are working closely with our sister federations across the UK to try to achieve cross-party support for this amendment, which would prevent people on low incomes being unfairly penalised, and we urge all Scottish Lords to support it."
Independent research commissioned by the SFHA revealed that up to one in five tenants in Scotland will see their incomes fall due to the Coalition Government's reforms to Housing Benefit . The research analyses the impacts on different groups of people, and proposes a range of ways of mitigating the most severe impacts which could see some tenants losing hundreds of pounds a year (2).
Visit our website at www.sfha.co.uk
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1) A copy of the letter is available on the SFHA website HERE
2) Read the SFHA's research on the impacts of the proposed changes to Housing Benefit here:
3) The SFHA was established in 1975 and has around 170 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance.
4) The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country's affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
5) Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator.
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