Saturday, 1 June 2013

Samaritans called in over Liverpool bedroom tax suicide risk

City's housing associations say one tenant attempted suicide, with more people becoming distressed and overwhelmed

The Samaritans have been drafted in by Liverpool's Riverside Housing Association to help deal with desperate tenants on the brink of suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Staff at Riverside Housing Association’s head office in Speke are being trained by phone counsellors from the Samaritans as workers struggle to cope with the high volume of calls from tenants at risk of suicide.

And South Liverpool Homes (SLH) said in early May a tenant attempted suicide over the bedroom tax and earlier this year a resident committed suicide over issues believed to be related to financial hardship.

Head of business excellence at SLH Claire Ryan said: “People have become overwhelmed, they’re just engulfed by the financial situation.He said: 

“It’s a range of different issues and bedroom tax is one which affects six and a half thousand of our tenants so it’s clearly a significant factor.

“I think what we’re experiencing is the cumulative effect of the austerity measures.”

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