Fears Leeds families will be forced into high-rise

The 'bedroom tax' may see more families moving into high-rise flats.
The 'bedroom tax' may see more families moving into high-rise flats.
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Hundreds of Leeds families could be forced to move into high rise flats.

The warning comes following the Government’s controversial welfare reforms – dubbed Bedroom Tax – which may force tenants to downsize their homes.

The reforms, which will start in April, could see social housing tenants lose part of their benefits if they have spare rooms.

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves warned that families could be made to move into flats.

A report to Leeds City Council revealed that over 8,000 households could be affected by the reforms.

Ms Reeves said: “Welfare changes mean that there will be more families pushed into blocks of flats because there is no money for house building.

“It means more and more families will end up in flats and that is just not appropriate for them. I think it will be a growing problem.”

The YEP understands that council tenants could lose more than £9m worth of benefits.

Rob Warm, Yorkshire and Humberside lead manager for the National Housing Federation, added: “In Leeds alone we estimate that around 10,000 households would be forced to move out of their homes and downsize as a result of the new rules around underoccupation, or see their benefits cut significantly if they want to stay where they are.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive member responsible for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said: “We certainly recognise and accept that multi-storey flats are not suitable for family living and always try to avoid placing family in such accommodation. We do not wish to increase the number of families living in these flats.”