Campaigners have revealed the impact of the Government’s so-called bedroom tax in Leeds.
Thousands of council house tenants in the city have fallen behind on their rent since the Bedroom Tax was introduced six months ago.
Figures show that 3,000 people - or 41 per cent of all tenants - in council homes have been pushed into rent arrears since the changes were made.
Campaigners from Hands Off Our Homes have, today, revealed the impact the spare room subsidy is having on the city as residents struggle to make ends meet.
New housing benefit regulations, introduced on April 1, led to reductions in benefit payments to tenants assessed to be under-occupying their accommodation.
Campaigners from Hands Off Our Homes have been offering support and advice to residents who have been affected by the changes.
They claim a recent survey reveals that residents are living in fear of losing their homes.
John Davies, pictured, from the group said their survey shows that people’s health is suffering as the changes to welfare reforms continue to bite.
He said: “Every week we speak to parents, grandparents, disabled people, carers, people coping with mental illness who tell us about their lives, their families and their health are suffering as a result of the bedroom tax.
“What we know from the hundreds of people we have spoken to at meetings, on stalls and in their homes, is that there are no such things as ‘exceptions’.
“Every single case is an injustice and the impact of the welfare reform act is forcing everyone affected into more and more vulnerable situations.”
Councillor Peter Gruen, executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said: “We recognise the concerns raised by Hands off our Homes and the work they are doing to bring the full impact of the government’s welfare changes to central government’s attention.”
“We work with all tenants in arrears and only seek to begin eviction proceedings when all other avenues have failed.”