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Disabled man could lose home in new law
Buy this photo » Home loss fears: Elaine and Bryan Tudor in his bedroom with the dialysis machine.
A DISABLED man with kidney failure says he faces losing his home of 30 years after being forced to fork out extra for his spare bedrooms, which he uses for his dialysis equipment.
Bryan Tudor, of Kidderminster, is a victim of the new Welfare Reform Act, in which unused bedrooms in social housing will be subject to an under-occupation charge or “bedroom tax”, from April.
Mr Tudor, 60, who lives in a threebedroom community housing property with his carer wife Elaine, 58, said he would have to pay an extra £100 a month for the rooms or move to a one-bedroom bungalow, without room for his dialysis machine.
The couple have to sleep in separate rooms, as Mr Tudor’s bedroom has the dialysis machine in it, while the spare room houses all the supplies required for the treatment.
“We can’t sleep in a one-bedroom bungalow because the dialysis equipment takes up most of the room,” said Mr Tudor, who has to have dialysis three times a week.
“The spare bedroom is absolutely packed solid and my wife sleeps in the third bedroom because there’s not enough room for a double bed in mine.
“We can’t afford the extra £100 a month. We’ve got no choice but to stay because I’ve got the kidney machine.
“We want help to pay for it or something to be done about it.
Being told after 30 years that we could be forced to move is a big shock.”
He added if they moved to a bungalow he would have to travel to Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, to have his dialysis.
“It would cost us a fortune going backwards and forwards,” Mr Tudor said. “The dialysis machine is a godsend and saves me a lot of time travelling to the hospital.
There must be something that can be done to help us stay here.”
Adrian Sewell, Labour Wyre Forest district councillor, who is highlighting their plight, said: “They’re an honest couple in a major predicament.”
A spokeswoman for The Community Housing Group added they “totally” supported and sympathised with the couple.
She said: “The new Welfare Reform Legislation considers that they are under occupying their property – they have more bedrooms than they need – and so will be liable for a reduction in their benefits.
“No consideration is taken of their personal circumstances and they will have to pay more of the rent themselves if they wish to remain in their home.”
She said the group was working with tenants to look at their options, adding they would be providing a mobile advice service in March.