Bedroom Tax - The Realities

Bedroom Tax - The Realities

Click here to edit subtitle

In April 2013, Housing benefits reforms will see those in receipt of Housing Benefit being subjected to benefit cuts, dependant on the size of the property they live in

Welfare reforms will cut the amount of benefit that people can get if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home – find out how this will affect people.

The Government has said that it will introduce new size criteria for housing benefit claims in social housing. This will apply from April 2013 to tenants of working age.

The power to do this is contained in the Welfare Reform Act, which received Royal Assent on 8th March 2012. 

What do the changes mean?

The size criteria in the social rented sector will restrict housing benefit to allow for one bedroom for each person or couple living as part of the household, with the following exceptions:

  • Children under 16 of same gender expected to share
  • Children under 10 expected to share regardless of gender
  • Disabled tenant or partner who needs non resident overnight carer will be allowed an extra bedroom

Who will be affected?

All claimants who are deemed to have at least one spare bedroom will be affected. This includes:

  • Separated parents who share the care of their children and who may have been allocated an extra bedroom to reflect this. Benefit rules mean that there must be a designated ‘main carer’ for children (who receives the extra benefit)
  • Couples who use their ‘spare’ bedroom when recovering from an illness or operation
  • Foster carers because foster children are not counted as part of the household for benefit purposes
  • Parents whose children visit but are not part of the household
  • Families with disabled children
  • Disabled people including people living in adapted or specially designed properties.

How much will people lose?

The cut will be a fixed percentage of the Housing Benefit eligible rent. The Government has said that this will be set at 14% for one extra bedroom and 25% for two or more extra bedrooms.

The Government’s impact assessment shows that those affected will lose an average of £14 a week. Housing association tenants are expected to lose £16 a week on average.

How many people will see their benefit cut?

The proposal will affect an estimated 660,000 working-age social tenants – 31% of existing working-age housing benefit claimants in the social sector. The majority of these people have only one extra bedroom.

We have set up a facebook group, for those affected by the upcoming changes. The group aims to inform members but most importantly, fight on all those affecteds behalf. If we hope to be taken seriously, we really need as many people to join our group as possible. So, if this affects you, someone you know, or you are against this reforms, please join our group

All this reform is going to acheive, is an even BIGGER shortage of smaller properties in the UK., as the properties just dont exist in sufficient numbers to house the needy. For example, In one council area, there are currently 2500 people waiting for a one bed property (this is not including those about to be affected by The Bedroom Tax). In that Coucil area, they have a total of 16 one bed properties.

Apart from many people being forced into taking inadequate properties, another reality we face, is that a lot of low income, vulnerable people, are going to be forced into debt and perhaps homelessness.

No one is denying there isnt a huge housing shortage out there, that needs addressed, but we believe this Reform is just going to make the problem a whole lot worse.

In the meantime, in the background, we are contacting national and local media, MPs and anyone else we think may be able to help/advise, in order to raise awareness and stimulate debate. We need to warn the many people this is about to affect, who have little notion of what lyes ahead. We really need to get everyone who is affected by this reform, and anyone who is against it, banded together and prepare to make a stand.