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Bedroom Tax Madness: Disabled Mother Threatened With Eviction From Home Adapted For Disabled Son

May 31, 2013

How can we help her, readers? Any ideas, especially from those of you in Scotland?


A MUM faces being thrown out of the home she had specially adapted for her severely disabled son – because of the bedroom tax.


Louise Rennie, 40, had her home extended and kitted out with specialist equipment for Luis,
seven, who has cerebral palsy and is registered blind.


Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership spent about £60,000 adapting the Stranraer home for them three years ago – but now demand that Louise stumps up £80 a month for the two extra rooms created by the extension.


She is deemed to live in a four-bedroom property and faces eviction if she fails to pay the controversial charge imposed by the Department for Work and Pensions.


One of the “spare” rooms is used to store equipment for Luis, who can’t walk unaided and has various wheelchairs and walking frames to help him get around.


The other is a sitting room where Louise can grab a few moments on her own when respite carers come in to look after Luis.


Louise said yesterday: “DGHP were magnificent when it came to adapting the house, and I got everything I needed to help with Luis.”


The housing association built the extension and fitted a lift, so Louise can get her son into the house, as well as a tracking hoist to take him from his bed to a specially adapted bathroom.


Louise explained: “Luis sleeps in his room in the extension, and I sleep in the other bedroom downstairs.


“One of the rooms upstairs is used to store Luis’s stuff.


“He has a wheelchair, a working chair, pushchair, standing frame and a walking frame.


“None of them fold away, and they are chunky pieces of equipment, so they take up an entire room on their own – and they’re all essential.


“The other room I use for respite.”


Louise has fibromyalgia, which means she suffers chronic, widespread pain, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, after a break-in at her former home.


She said: “I was given this house on medical grounds but now I am worse off than before.


“I’ve been bombarded with letters saying I have to pay the tax for two extra bedrooms.


“They are penalising me for having two rooms which aren’t even bedrooms and are threatening to evict me.”


Former drug project worker Louise vowed not to pay the charge.


She said: “It’s not my fault I’m on benefits. I worked full-time but am now a carer for Luis.


“It would cost the Government a lot more if I wasn’t looking after him and they had to put him somewhere that could accommodate his needs.


“Why spend the money on my house, then three years later come along and penalise me for having it?”


Louise added: “I’m grateful for the money I do get but every pound in my purse is accounted for.


“With these demands, something has to give. Is it going to be heating or food?


“I will not be going without things my son needs to pay this bedroom tax. If my baby is cold, I will put on my heating.


“If I need to put an extra tenner in the meter for heating or pay the bedroom tax, then the meter will get the money every time.


“I’ve never been in debt, and have always paid bills on time, but I can’t afford to pay the bedroom tax.


“There are people out there going without food because of this very unfair tax.


“I would say to others in the same position as me, ‘Don’t pay the bedroom tax.’”


Louise also blasted the heartless Con-Dem Government.


She said: “I can’t believe that David Cameron had a disabled child himself, and yet still chooses to prey on some of the most vulnerable people in society before looking at taxing rich people living in fancy big mansions.”


The Daily Record has been at the forefront of campaigning against the bedroom tax.


Yesterday, we reported how East Ayrshire Council have done a U-turn over threats to evict blind widow Helen Sockell from her Kilmarnock home. It came after we highlighted her plight.


A mass rally will take place in Glasgow’s George Square tomorrow, with protesters expected from all corners of Scotland.


Former MSP Tommy Sheridan will be one of the speakers at the Axe the Bedroom Tax demonstration, which starts at 11am.

One Comment leave one →
  1. rainbowwarriorlizzie permalink
    June 1, 2013 11:38 am


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