PROTESTERS are calling on politicians to ban evictions of council tenants as the effect of the so-called "bedroom tax" kicks in.
Stroud Against the Cuts and Unite Community handed in a petition to Stroud District Council, demanding a no-evictions policy and for the council to write off rent arrears due to reductions in housing benefit entitlement.
"While SDC plans to build a total of 150 social housing units by March 2018, this will not cover the shortfall," said Chris Moore, of Stroud Against the Cuts.
"Many people will be forced into unsuitable and/or enormously expensive temporary or private rented accommodation, and as a result the total cost of housing benefit will actually rise."
Some 1,200 signatures were collected which means the group can speak at the council's next meeting.
The reductions to housing benefit entitlement, introduced in April, mean that social housing tenants in receipt of housing benefit payments, excluding those in receipt of a state pension, face reductions of 14 per cent if deemed to have one spare bedroom and 25 per cent if deemed to have two.
In Stroud, 19 tenants have already been forced to move as a result of the bedroom tax.
In Gloucester, Gloucester City Homes said 426 people are currently affected by the new rules, 238 are in arrears as a result, and 15 have moved.
Two Rivers Housing, which provides social housing in the Forest of Dean and Tewkesbury, said 15 households have moved as a result, and 308 homes are regarded as under-occupied.
In Cheltenham, no tenants have been forced to move but currently 424 tenants are affected.
Sue Powell, from Unite Community said: "From talking to the public, it is clear many people are angry at the stress and anxiety being caused to some of the poorest and most vulnerable in our society due to increasing rent arrears and the threat of eviction. Two-thirds of those affected are disabled."