Could bedroom tax nightmare be avoided by using doomed flats?

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HIGH-rise flats earmarked for demolition could be used to help people affected by the ‘bedroom tax’, according to a resident.

Derek Cooney says the blocks at Red Road have 180 one-bedroom homes and the same number of two-bedroom homes.

The controversial ‘bedroom tax’, which was introduced last week by the UK Government, means people with one extra bedroom will lose 14 per cent of their housing benefit and those with two or more will lose 25 per cent. As reported in last week’s Herald, Glasgow Housing Association, is to help its tenants affected by the welfare reforms, which includes spending £16million to put up to 300 (mostly one-bedroom) homes on the open market.

The Red Road flats are due to be demolished by 2017.

However, Mr Conney, who lived in one of the flats until recently, said: “There’s nothing wrong with the flats so they could be used to house people affected by the bedroom tax.

“Around five or six years ago new central heating was put into the properties and the railings were painted about a year before I moved.”

But Fanchea Kelly, GHA’s executive director of housing and support services, said: “The Red Road flats have been unpopular with tenants for years and very expensive to maintain.

“That’s why they’ve been earmarked for demolition as part of GHA’s plans, with its partners, for the regeneration of Glasgow.

“Welfare reforms have only very recently been introduced and we are implementing a range of measures to help tenants who are affected – including helping them find modern homes they want to live in.”

Hillhead Housing Association recently revealed that around 127 of their residents would be affected.

East Dunbartonshire Council housing chief Kenny Simpson has confirmed that 417 local authority tenants will also be left with less cash, detailing the dearth of one-bedroom homes available for those wishing to move to a smaller property and avoid a cut to their housing benefit.

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