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Ex-soldier fears he may be forced on to streets
9:57am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
A FORMER soldier who was homeless after leaving the Army fears being forced back on to the streets by the “bedroom tax”.
Cody Lachey had just £300 when he was discharged in November, 2006 and with nowhere to live, he spent 12 months sheltering in a power station in Heywood.
With help from armed forces charity SSAFA, he eventually found a housing association flat in Seddon Close, Radcliffe, and moved in July, 2010.
Mr Lachey lives alone and the tenancy agreement says it is a one-bedroom flat, but there are actually two bedrooms.
The empty second bedroom means Mr Lachey will see his housing benefit cut by 14 per cent when the “bedroom tax” is introduced next month.
He is unable to work, after suffering a knee injury in Afghanistan when a bomb exploded nearby, and does not know how he will make up the £676 annual shortfall.
Mr Lachey, aged 29, said: “It is a struggle and the threat of being evicted has caused a great deal of anxiety.
“Everything I have done to get where I am now could be taken away by the Government. I am being punished by the Government for being given a bedroom I don’t want.”
Mr Lachey, who served with the Royal Artillery, advertised his home on a housing swap website last year but has had no success.
He said: “I have been trying to move for 12 months to a one-bedroom flat but the demand far outweighs the supply.”
He is now fighting the introduction of the “bedroom tax” and took part in a large demonstration in Manchester city centre on Saturday.
“I’m going to stand up and fight this. I haven’t got where I am today by lying down and taking things.
“I was trained by the British Army never to give up,” he said.