Anti-bedroom tax campaigners claim victory after Walkden eviction reprieve
ANTI-BEDROOM tax campaigners are hailing victory after a Walkden tenant was given a last-minute reprieve from eviction.
Protestors from across Greater Manchester swarmed Vicky Wreschak’s home in Grosvenor Drive ready to face off bailiffs who had been ordered to evict the mum over unpaid rent.
But following a court appearance and legal representation from homeless charity Shelter, Ms Wreschak has now been given four weeks to pay the £3,375.83 she owes to her landlord, City West.
The campaigners say that she was pushed further into debt by the under-occupancy charge, which saw her lose a portion of her benefits because she has a spare bedroom.
Ms Wreschak was in court while the protestors picketed outside her home yesterday morning.
News that she would not be evicted was welcomed with cheers. Mark Krantz of the Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation for Greater Manchester said protestors had set an important precedent in their willingness to fight for cases like that of Ms Wreschak.
He said: “I couldn’t sleep last night out of worry, and it’s not even my home.
“I really think City West should hang their heads in shame that they weren’t able to find a solution before we had to take this massive protest.
“They were prepared to send a vulnerable woman into destitution.”
The campaigners claim Ms Wreschak was not informed by City West that she could apply for discretionary housing payments, and that she did not have a lawyer with her when the notice for bailiffs was decided in court on Wednesday.
After Thursday’s decision, she now has a month to work with City West to find a way to clear her debts.
A spokesman for City West housing association said: “While we cannot discuss individual customer circumstances, we can confirm that this case is not directly related to non-payment of the bedroom tax. “Eviction proceedings are always an absolute last resort for City West, and we take every possible step to ensure that all of our customers are aware of the full range of support and advice services available to them.
“We are fully committed to helping customers who are affected by the Government’s welfare reforms, and last year we spent in excess of £500,000 to support customers through the changes.”
See video of the incident at theboltonnews.co.uk
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