Disabled couple hit by bedroom tax shake up

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A disabled woman says the controversial bedroom tax is failing to make concessions for people in exceptional circumstances.

Sandra Hampton is facing a reduction in housing benefit for two extra bedrooms –which equates to around £108 each month – even though her disabled husband sleeps in one and housing chiefs are unable to move them into smaller accommodation.

The government shake-up, which came into force on Monday, cuts the amount of benefit to council and housing association tenants if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom.

Sandra and Keith live in a three-bedroom flat within Dacorum Borough Council-run sheltered housing complex William Crook House in Green End Lane, Hemel Hempstead.

Since moving there in 2006, thousands of pounds worth of adaptations have been made to make it easier for wheelchair bound Keith, 60, to get around. He was left completely paralysed down one side and unable to speak following a stroke in 2005.

Sandra, who suffers from osteoarthritis, said she would be happy to pay the bedroom tax on a second room in a smaller property but the council has nowhere available.

“They haven’t got anything suitable and we can’t do an exchange because it is sheltered accommodation,” said Sandra, 56.

A council spokesman said: “In some circumstances, such as where extensive adaptations have been made to a property to accommodate a disability, we may not have suitable alternative homes available to transfer to. We will work with our tenants to try and find the best solution for their needs, and we are looking into this particular case.”