The government’s “affordable rent” at 80% of the private market rate is unaffordable for many. If you live in Surrey, though, it’s staggeringly unaffordable. The higher the rent the bigger the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’ on tenants if their family composition changes. Here’s what a tenant from Surrey has reported to us.
“I have a 4 bed social housing property in Surrey which I was offered on the ‘affordable’ housing scheme. Lucky me…talk about bad timing! After 7 years on the waiting list, I had to take it as we had no other options. The previous tenants paid £150 per week. We pay £257 per week. After only 1 year, and an older child soon to be moving out…we will be facing the Bedroom Tax. That will be 14% of the ‘affordable’ rent. Approx £36 per week for the spare room. We can’t afford that! Now we are forced to find an exchange to a 3 bed. We have to leave what was supposed to be our ‘forever’ home…somewhere of security and safety after many years being shunted from one grotty overpriced privately rented house to another. That’s all gone, a distant memory in the wake of ‘fixed’ social housing tenancies and ‘affordable’ rents. Plus, no one wants to exchange here no matter how much they love the house. Why would they…who would leave a rent of £33-£150 per week to pay £257? We’re devastated and don’t know which way to turn!”