‘Huge weight lifted from our shoulders’

Steven and Michelle Pinder who could be forced to move out of their specially adapted home due to bedroom tax.
Steven and Michelle Pinder who could be forced to move out of their specially adapted home due to bedroom tax.

DISABLED foster carer Steven Pinder says a “huge weight” has been lifted from his shoulders after the decision to help vulnerable households.

The 48-year-old had feared he would have to move out of his specially adapted home as a result of the Government’s bedroom tax which would have affected their ability to be foster carers in future.

Steven and his wife Michelle, 44, live in a three bedroomed house in Owton Manor Lane, Hartlepool, and currently have a foster placement.

Because foster children are not classed as part of the household under the plans the Pinders are classed as being two bedrooms under occupied at their Housing Hartlepool home, which they have been in for the last six years.

Steven, who doesn’t work and receives Incapacity Benefit and Disability Living Allowance, said: “I feel that a huge weight has been lifted from our shoulders.

“It is a big stress reliever and we have been worrying about this for weeks.

“I don’t drink, don’t smoke, just want a nice house and we didn’t want to have to possibly move out.

“I am really pleased with the decision but I do have a lot of sympathy for those people still affected.”

Their property has been specially adapted with ramps, grab rails and bathroom adaptations for Steven to live in after he broke his back in seven places back in 1997 in a motorcycle accident.

The couple have a daughter, Danielle, 22, a single parent who is classed as Steven’s carer.