Scope respond to yesterday’s vote on the Affordable Homes Bill

Responding to yesterday’s vote on the Affordable Homes Bill, Anna Bird, Group Head of Policy, Research and Public Affairs said:
 
“We are pleased to see MPs recognise the impact that housing benefit changes are having on disabled people. 
 
“Scope continues to urge the Government to rethink these proposals.
 
“For the vast majority of disabled people these are not spare bedrooms, these are essential rooms.
 
“We’ve spoken to disabled people who aren’t able to share a specially adapted bed with their partner, and have to sleep in a separate room. Others need a room for their carer.
 
“They either have to move, or find the extra cash they don’t have to pay their rent.
 
“From higher heating bills to taxi fares and pricey equipment like wheelchairs or stair-lifts, it all adds up. 
 
“On average, disabled people spend £550 per month on disability-related outgoings, and this has a huge impact on living standards, making it harder to afford the basics in life, save for the future or live independently.
 
“We’ve all got a role to play in tackling extra costs, including charities, retailers, manufacturers, local and national government. DLA and its replacement PIP are crucial in helping disabled people cover the extra costs of disability.  All political parties must now commit to protecting the budget for this support.”
 
Ends
 

Notes to the editor:

  • Almost two thirds of those affected by these changes to housing benefit are disabled people.
  • Scope launched the Extra Costs Commission in July 2014 [2], to find ways to reduce the financial penalty disabled people face. Over the past month hundreds of disabled people have got in touch to tell us how this issue affects their lives. The Commission on Extra Costs will run from June 2014 to June 2015. The Chair Robin Hindle-Fisher became a business coach following a 27 year career in the fund management industry. He held senior positions at CEO, partner and managing director level at a number of leading organisations and remains a non-executive director in the sector.
 

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