Bedroom Tax ?

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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  johnb on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:54 am

Some of the cases being promoted to justify resistance to this policy are so blatantly wrong they probably go against the United Nations Human Rights Charter - that clause about a right to a family life. These need contesting.

That said, the fact that some idiot jobsworths have drawn the line in the wrong place does not alter the principle that social housing should be allocated on a needs basis, and the greater injustice is homeless families in bed and breakfast accommodation.
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Hinch on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:58 am

Hear, hear.
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  cyfrifia on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:38 pm

Keeping families in B&B was supposed to be an emergency measure to be used as a last resort. That it's become widespread is a symptom of something seriously wrong, the idea should be to make life better for people, not warehouse them as economic statistics.

A housebuilding program to build enough houses for our projected future population in just a few years time, not on flood plain, contaminated land, not in eternal shadow, or on bleak windswept moors, is difficult to imagine. Just this new high speed railway will cause considerable damage to countryside and communities. Imagine the disruption and devastation to the remains of our countryside and wildlife, of a national housebuilding program. Anyway not to worry, we can't afford it. Smile

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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Atlas on Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:18 am

cyfrifia wrote:Keeping families in B&B was supposed to be an emergency measure to be used as a last resort. That it's become widespread is a symptom of something seriously wrong, the idea should be to make life better for people, not warehouse them as economic statistics.

A housebuilding program to build enough houses for our projected future population in just a few years time, not on flood plain, contaminated land, not in eternal shadow, or on bleak windswept moors, is difficult to imagine. Just this new high speed railway will cause considerable damage to countryside and communities. Imagine the disruption and devastation to the remains of our countryside and wildlife, of a national housebuilding program. Anyway not to worry, we can't afford it. Smile


We can't afford not to cyfrifia. Our governments these days tend not to last long enough to be able to get to grips with a 'programme' and have the 'get-out' clause of blaming the previous lot for 'their' inaction. We already see thousands of non-domestic dwellings, in the form of caravans,garages,sheds,derelict canal barges and what have you which are already housing many thousands of temporary visitors, illegal or otherwise, which don't come into the stats or the headlines - estimated last at around 150,000 across the country. With an estimated 750,000 houses unoccupied at any one time and an estimated shortage of 1,000,000 homes just how much worse can we expect things to go before the pressure-cooker blows? And who will the politicians blame then - oh forgot - yes - the last lot. £33 billion over the next 20 years on house building will create a million jobs and put the building industry back on its feet within months. And what are we offered. A fast train ride. Wow. I bet someone needed an Oxford education to come across with that one. Idiots. Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  cyfrifia on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:09 am

Atlas wrote:We can't afford not to

Looking at the numbers and the reality, that's true, if the UK does not have a huge housebuilding program soon, the ramshackle housing situation we have now will continue, and, with further population growth, deteriorate. If it does happen, It will be sad to see the remains of countryside built over.

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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Hinch on Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:03 am

We certainly need a housebuilding programme but we also need to address the issue of people losing their homes so easily. Plus, we also need to use our existing/remaining stock of social housing more effectively.
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Charly on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:30 pm

Hinch wrote: we also need to address the issue of people losing their homes so easily.

A neighbour came to me the other day, she must be close to 90 years old, suffering with Alzheimers... she had a letter threatening her the councils next step was to seek possession of her little 1 bed flat for rent arrears of £103 or thereabouts, she told me she pays rent every week out of her pension. Her carer takes her shopping so she would know better than I do.
I didnt think pensioners in her situation had rent to pay so I might assume it is for water but I'm not sure. She wanted me to ring the council and query it for her but I advised her to get her carer to do it as I know from experience the council staff will NOT talk to anyone ringing on behalf of someone else
Can you imagine how scared this little, sick old lady felt when she got this letter, what happened to the housing officers who would knock on the door and ask what the problem is?
The housing officers are well aware of her situation, she has lived in the flat opposite me for at least 29 years as she was here before me and thats the length of time I've lived in this house.
I'm sure all it needs is someone to ask why/how she owes this money and it would be paid.
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Hinch on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:49 pm

Arseholes! (Sorry Past It.)
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Jeanie on Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:03 pm

That's dreadful Charly I have just been told about a 72 year old man who has received a letter from the council stating that his benefits have been stopped and they have enclosed a payment card for him start paying £81 a week rent out of his pension of £140 which he took to the local shop and paid it last week , I am waiting for his permission to help him find out what has happened Sad
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Hinch on Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:58 pm

And all this a mere hint of things to come.
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  teamplayer2 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:04 pm

Do not be sorry for saying Arseholes Hinch to anyone. I use to work for the council and it was full of arseholes and jobsworths like the type Charly was mentioning. Some did not care before looking into why the person was in trouble or what the problem the person was facing.

It was heartbreaking to see some of things they were doing to people who were in real need and in particular the elderly.
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Charly on Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:38 pm

Jeanie wrote:That's dreadful Charly I have just been told about a 72 year old man who has received a letter from the council stating that his benefits have been stopped and they have enclosed a payment card for him start paying £81 a week rent out of his pension of £140 which he took to the local shop and paid it last week , I am waiting for his permission to help him find out what has happened Sad

I cant understand how a 72 year old can have their benefits stopped, surely the state pension amount qualifies you for housing/council tax benefits?
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Jeanie on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:40 pm

Charly wrote:
Jeanie wrote:That's dreadful Charly I have just been told about a 72 year old man who has received a letter from the council stating that his benefits have been stopped and they have enclosed a payment card for him start paying £81 a week rent out of his pension of £140 which he took to the local shop and paid it last week , I am waiting for his permission to help him find out what has happened Sad

I cant understand how a 72 year old can have their benefits stopped, surely the state pension amount qualifies you for housing/council tax benefits?

I don't know myself yet Charly but I will find out Sad

Just going of track what is happening to our elderly is disgraceful today I had to phone for some personal care items for my mum, in the past on a monthly basis either mum or me has just phoned and the item/s have been delivered, NOT SO SIMPLE ANY MORE !!! change of company Rolling Eyes

I phoned the number and had to put in an I.D number and a password from the letter head sent to my mum then the quite abrupt person replied "if you look half way down the letter you will find a number to ring" as this number does not take orders! it also stated that mum could go on their website and place an order Shocked

Ok so I phoned that number to be told ;
"sorry but the second item isn't on her order, you will have to phone the district nurse and ask her to phone us to order the item"
I phoned the district nurse to be told "sorry but your mum's care isn't with us any more and gave me another phone number !
I phoned the number given to be told they would come out to access if mum needed this item but the other item would be delivered by the end of February.by this time I was myself quite confused confused
Just how the hell do they think elderly people like my mum who will be 87 in April cope with all these changes ? my heart goes out to the many people who have nobody
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Atlas on Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:17 am

Charly wrote:
Jeanie wrote:That's dreadful Charly I have just been told about a 72 year old man who has received a letter from the council stating that his benefits have been stopped and they have enclosed a payment card for him start paying £81 a week rent out of his pension of £140 which he took to the local shop and paid it last week , I am waiting for his permission to help him find out what has happened Sad

I cant understand how a 72 year old can have their benefits stopped, surely the state pension amount qualifies you for housing/council tax benefits?


It is perhaps because he has failed to complete the 'change of circumstance' form sent out post-xmas which states the form must be returned within x number of days or all benefits would be automatically stopped. ???
It is possible his went walk-about in the post or he threw it away thinking it was junk mail. I would check that one first before leaping to assumptions of age-bashing.
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  cyfrifia on Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:51 am

And, could there be a reasonable explanation why Charlie's neighbour, a lady with alzheimers, in her late eighties, should get a letter threatening her with eviction?


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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Hinch on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:12 am

It may just have been the standard letter pointing out that you can lose your house if your account is in arrears. They cannot later evict someone unless they have pointed this out for legal reasons.

I'm not saying that this is right but it's like taking out a secured loan where they have to tell you that you can lose your home if you fail to keep up the payments.

We used to deal with this sort of thing quite a lot at CAB.
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  anexium on Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:59 am

I'm a council tenant and I do find that a lot of their correspondence is very poorly written and tends to go into thinly veiled threats far, far too easily.

I had a letter not too long ago where they needed to get access to check the gas appliances. They'd only called once before and with the re-wiring work they were doing (and associated house-turned-upside-down-i-ness) I'd forgotten to call them to make an appointment. The letter was incredibly badly written and spent more time telling me that if I didn't reply ASAP they'd take me to court to gain entry and cancel the tenancy then it did giving me the detail of who to contact and when.

Seems that whoever they've got doing their letter writing has been taking their lessions from the TV Licencing people...

It's not like I'm a paying customer now is it?...
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Heywoodpp on Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:32 pm

Forgive the long quote from the BBC website but doesn't this say it all:
A woman in her 80s left at home in Surrey without medication, food, or water for nine days after a care agency shut down has died in hospital.

Gloria Foster was admitted to Epsom Hospital nearly two weeks ago after being found at her home in Banstead.

Her home care provider, Carefirst24 in Sutton, south London, closed after a raid by the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

Surrey County Council said Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board was investigating "this tragic event".

'Questions to answer'

Mrs Foster died on Monday. Her MP, Conservative Crispin Blunt, has described her ordeal as "horrific".

"I am very sorry to hear that Mrs Foster has now, sadly, passed away," he said.

"Clearly there are questions to answer and I would expect a comprehensive investigation between all of the agencies involved.

"I said last week that I would certainly not like to pre-judge any more of the narrative before it is formally established.

"Yesterday's desperately sad developments can only increase the salience of that need."

Surrey Police said it investigated the case after hospital staff caring for Mrs Foster raised concerns.

Carefirst24 provided care to elderly people across Surrey and the London Borough of Sutton on behalf of the two local authorities.

UKBA raided its headquarters in Upper Mulgrave Road, Sutton, on 15 January as part of an investigation into suspected illegal workers and fraud.

'Top priority'

Six people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to assist foreign nationals.

A spokeswoman for the county council said on Tuesday: "We are very sad to hear about Mrs Foster's death and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.

"The safety of vulnerable adults is our top priority, which is why this tragic event is already being urgently looked at by the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board."

The spokeswoman said she did not know how long the investigation by the safeguarding board, set up to protect vulnerable adults, would take.

As well as the county council, its members include Surrey Police, NHS Surrey, the 11 district and borough councils in Surrey and voluntary sector organisations such as Mencap, the Surrey Coalition of Service Users and Action for Carers.

'Appropriate agency'

A spokeswoman for AGE UK Surrey said lessons must be learnt from Mrs Foster's case.

Paul Burstow, Lib Dem MP for Sutton and Cheam, said Surrey County Council needed to get to the bottom of why its procedures did not work properly.

Surrey Police said in a statement: "Officers from the Public Protection Investigation Unit carried out enquiries and it was deemed that the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board would be the appropriate agency to investigate further."

Telephones at Carefirst24's offices are not being answered and no reply has been received to inquiries by email.

All those arrested have been bailed until dates in April.
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:43 pm


When I've asked RBH staff why "paid up," not-in-debt tenants receive warning letters about being in arrears, facing legal action, etcetera, their stock answer has been ' It's The Computer.' It seems that it takes three days for payments made to go onto tenants' records, so mail is generated automatically by their computer immediately any default is calendar triggered ... so they say.


The admin and postage costs for this automatic 'debtor' system must be substantial. The mail speedily arrives with a graphic Traffic Light illustration, firstly showing an Amber warning light, while telling a tenant the next step is legal action, unless immediate payments are made.


Aside from this system, that's now under the label of a Rochdale Mutual Housing Association, perhaps the lady in her late 80's with alzheimers genuinely did forget, and the 72 year-old missed completing a form ? We're back again to our Elderly Care Services and the vulnerable needing support in the community. pale


Yes, Heywoodpp, our posts have crossed in writing: the story of the woman in Surrey is very tragic.
She went 9 days without a friend or a neighbour calling. The home-alone are often just that





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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Jeanie on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:38 pm

Last year RBH sent my 86 year old mum a final warning letter saying she was in debt for over £300 plus pounds and if not paid would go to a debt collector I pay all my mums bills as and when they come .
It all turned out the fault was theirs they hadn't sent a statement the debt was £140 their fault not ours !
Never did receive an apology Mad
Very recent RBH threatened to change the locks and take back the property of a neighbour who hasn't yet had a funeral if the daughter didn't produce a death certificate "which she hasn't got"
Try phoning the council they now say RBH is no longer with them so then try to phone Sand-brook park and no way can you speak to a manager what have we become to be so incentive & uncaring in Rochdale Sad
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  cyfrifia on Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:40 pm

What happened to the lady in Surrey is awful, and symptomatic of the things that have gone so badly wrong in the care for old people. Well done to you, Heywoodpp for writing about it and caring. People who care are going to have to speak up more, as this sort of thing, the way older people are being treated, and the failures of the systems that are supposed to care for and look after them have become a problem. Why did no-one at that Carefirst24 agency check that everyone was ok?

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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Spartacus on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:21 pm

I am at a loss to recall the last time I learned something good about RBH apart from what they have to say about themselves that is.

I sincerely hope someone from there is visiting this forum and looking into some of the issues raised here. There certainly appear to be a number of areas they need to get a grip on immediately.


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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Hinch on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:30 pm

They who have contributed to Rochdale homelessness issue could now be pencilled in to be part of the solution.

Unbelievable!
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Jeanie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:50 pm

Spartacus wrote:I am at a loss to recall the last time I learned something good about RBH apart from what they have to say about themselves that is.

I sincerely hope someone from there is visiting this forum and looking into some of the issues raised here. There certainly appear to be a number of areas they need to get a grip on immediately.


I was at an elderly neighbours funeral today and gave a lift to another elderly neighbour we got talking about this "Bedroom Tax" and she said after an awful accident last year she was willing to downgrade to a smaller premise, but she said they had offered her 3 flats in areas not suitable to were she would feel safe. Why should she move out of her family home which she has lived in for the last 48 years to somewhere that would cause her distress and upset for the rest of her life?
Tomorrow I have a meeting with RBH with the Daughter of the 88 year old Man they threatened to change the locks and take back the property on the 28th January if she didn't send them His death certificate, due to the coroner stepping in and requesting a post mortem and enquiry into his death She didn't have a death certificate. His Funeral was today 6th February as she has been given an interim death certificate near on a month after his passing !
My Auntie died on New Years Day her daughter received various letters from the Gas,Electric & BT stating sorry for the loss of your Mother Mrs -------
Then she received one from the council which told her Dear Mrs ------- just to inform you your mothers cremated remains are ready for collection Mad
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Re: Bedroom Tax ?

Post  Poppyanna555 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:24 pm

I think it is about time that RMBC started focusing on 'who might be best suited for the job' rather than a system focused on points triggered by 'buzz words'!!!

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