Corona-Finance: Housing

Corona-Finance: Housing

I live alone in a 2 bedroom house, and usually pay the under-occupancy charge (bedroom tax). My son has had to come and live with me during the Coronavirus lock down, and we don’t know how long it will be for. It’s costing me extra on food and utility bills – do I still have to pay the bedroom tax while he’s here?

You will need to inform housing that he has come to live with you, that may either be Housing Benefit if you are still on that benefit or Universal Credit where you can go on your journal and report a change.

Both agencies will recalculate your entitlement. There may a be a reduction in benefits if they expect him to make a claim and contribute to the household.

Someone I know has just been asked to leave a Wellbeing House today due to her health conditions and that she is in the high risk group. We don’t think she has any rights because it as short stay respite from sofa surfing. She has been asked to go back to family but they are all self isolating.

She needs to approach the housing team to make a homelessness application asap they will most likely have a duty of care.

If it is late in the day or at the end of the week, you can call the phone line to report a vulnerable person, and this will establish if she has a social worker.

Also – Shelter has a legal helpline that is open seven days a week, they will be able to confirm her legal rights and may be able to advise on what she should do on the day.
You can also look at

Her GP can refer to her council’s Housing team via the local council phone line. They will assess her for emergency accommodation through the local council; this consideration will be fast-tracked due to her health status.

I’ve lost my income due to coronavirus. I can’t pay my rent. What help is available?

Check if you can get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

If not, you may be entitled to benefits, so check and apply as soon as you can. Check here to see what benefits you can apply for.

You can check if you are eligible for Universal Credit here and you can apply for Universal Credit here:

There is also information on applying for New Style ESA here

The government has put a hold on all new evictions for 3 months, and it is always worth discussing your situation with your landlord. For more information on your rights as an employee, check here

And for housing advice, check the Shelter website

I’ve spent all of my rent money buying household essentials in case I can’t get out because of Coronavirus – if I can’t pay rent can I be evicted?

The government has said that landlords will not be able to start eviction proceedings for at least the next three months. The best thing to do is work out how to get our rent account back up to date as soon as possible.

We might need to look at our budget and see what we can save, so we can offer to pay off a little each week over a few months. Even if evictions don’t happen now, the courts could swing into overdrive once the government gives the green light and we just don’t need that hassle.

For Universal Credit claimants, landlords might try to recover unpaid rent direct from the government, which means even lower benefit payments each month.

More from Shelter here:

Back to Corona-Finance button