27
May
2013
|
00:00
Europe/London

Leeds City Council reclassifies properties in the city


Leeds City Council is re-designating the number of bedrooms in a range of council homes across the city to ensure they offer the right layout and design for modern living.



The council is sending out letters to 837 households this week to make them aware of the changes that will be happening to their properties, along with an explanation of what this means for tenants.



Properties have been selected for re-designation on the basis of their build type, design and layout. For example some of the five bedroom properties with a downstairs bedroom will be reclassified as a four bedroom property to create a better layout for those occupying it.



These properties also have a higher incidence of under-occupancy and are therefore considered to be less sustainable in the long term.



The welfare changes along with the need to ensure housing stock is sustainable has prompted the move to reclassify a small number of properties across the city. Just under a third of the people in the properties that will be changed are affected by under occupation. Any tenants that have lost out on their housing benefits through under occupation of these properties will get a refund backdated to 1 April 2013.



Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:



“We have looked at a number of council properties across our portfolio to ensure that they are correctly designated with the right number of bedrooms for the size and layout of the house or flat.



“It seems that some of the properties are not sustainable moving forward and their layout does not support the current bedroom designation.



“The move to look at this change has been in part prompted by welfare changes and looking at ways to help all tenants across the city.



“Already we have been out and meet with a large number of our council tenants to explain to them how welfare changes will affect them, and what we can do to try and help them moving forward – be that through setting up a payment plan for paying back rent or any other help and advice they may need.”



Notes to editors:



As part of the new welfare changes that are now in place, those tenants under occupying a house will receive up to 14% less housing benefit if they are assessed to have one additional bedroom and up to 25% if they are assessed to have two or more additional bedrooms.





Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk