The Bedroom Tax (Removal of Spare Room Subsidy)
From April 2013, the UK Government introduced new size criteria for housing benefit claims in social housing. This applies to Tenants of working age (currently those born after 1st October 1951). It will mean Tenants will have their housing benefit cut by 14% for one spare room, and 25% for two spare rooms, of the total eligible rent on the property.
What do the changes mean?
The size criteria will restrict housing benefit to allow for one bedroom for each of the following:
- A single adult or couple
- Any other adult (16 years old or over)
- Children under 16 of the same sex
- Children under 10 regardless of sex
- Disabled resident or partner who has a non-resident overnight carer
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 child benefit)
- Couples who use their ‘spare’ bedroom when recovering from an illness or operation
- 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
- Foster carers may be affected. Please check with Social Services
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.
Options available to help you
Staying in your Home
You may decide that you want to remain in your home. If you do, you need to think about how you will afford the cut in Housing Benefit that you will receive in the long term, as this change will be permanent. If you would like help or assistance working out if you can afford the cut in your housing benefit, then please contact the Rents Team on 0800 121 6064.