Welfare reform remains high on the agenda for local authorities throughout the country and East Ayrshire Council alongside its Common Housing Register partners Atrium Homes, Cunninghame Housing Association, Irvine Housing Association and Shire Housing Association approved an amendment to the Common Allocation Policy which will help address its effects locally.
Back in March, the Council announced that it opposed the bedroom tax and would do everything it can to protect local people who are affected by the changes. For a transitional period of one year, the Council will use all legitimate means to collect rent due, except eviction.
On the back of this commitment, the change to the Common Allocation Policy will positively assist Council and other tenants of the social rented sector living within East Ayrshire who are affected by the under occupation charge.
Traditionally tenants would receive a one-off points award of 12 points if their home was under-occupied by two rooms or more. Now for each bedroom under occupied the tenant will receive 15 points.
This will greatly assist tenants who are seeking to move to smaller accommodation.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council and Spokesperson for Strategic Planning, Management and Resources said: “The Council does not support the bedroom tax and is doing everything in its power to assist East Ayrshire tenants who are affected by Welfare Reform. The change to the Housing Allocation Policy will greatly help affected tenants wishing to move to smaller homes; it means tenants could receive up to 30 extra points rather than the previous one off award of just 12 points.
“The Council will continue to look for ways to help local people in the months to come.”