According to the latest data available, the housing rent arrears in Scotland rose to £2 million during the month of April following changes to housing benefits.
Most of the local authorities in Scotland with its own housing assets recorded a rise in arrears, showed a survey by council umbrella body Cosla. The survey was conducted about 100 days after reforms relating to the under-occupancy charges were introduced to the housing benefits. The under-occupancy charges was imposed from April 1 as a part of the
British government's welfare programme.
Following the charges, the welfare claimants with an extra bedroom saw their benefits cut by 14per cent while benefit recipients with two extra bedrooms saw their benefits fall by 25 per cent. The changes were applied to both tenants of local authorities and those of registered social landlords. Cosla also found that about three quarters of the councils that recorded a rise in arrears blamed under-occupancy charges for the rise.
Cosla president David O'Neill said, "It will be exactly 100 days tomorrow since the under-occupancy changes were introduced and I derive no pleasure whatsoever in seeing that our predictions about the dire consequences of this ill-conceived policy are starting to be borne out."
Source: Top News