More than 600 affected by benefit changes

Highland Council has provided information and advice to more than 600 council house tenants affected by the reduction in their Housing Benefit due to the implementation of the Bedroom Tax.
This new legislation from the UK Government, that came into effect from 1 April, means a deduction is being imposed on working age housing benefit claimants who live in council or housing association homes where it has been deemed that they are under occupying their home. The new rule is estimated to affect about 2000 council house tenants in Highland.
Tenants affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ have been contacted to discuss the implications that this change will have on their household finances and explore options that may be available to them. These could include, seeking employment or increasing working hours or moving to a smaller property. We are also giving appropriate advise on maximising the household’s income and signposting tenants to other advice agencies that can help like money advice services and Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
A council spokesman said: “We have had good feedback from the tenants we have spoken to so far and we would like to assure other tenants that we have already written to that we will contact them by telephone over the next couple of weeks.”