Housing benefit reductions for spare bedrooms (under-occupancy) in social tenancies
From April 2013, the Government is proposing to reduce the amount of housing benefit paid to working age tenants of registered providers who have spare bedrooms in their homes. This will apply to all council and housing association tenants.
If you already live in a council or housing association home or are thinking of moving into one and have a spare bedroom(s), your housing benefit could be cut.
What is working age?
Anyone NOT in receipt of their pension, this age will change in line with government plans to align the retirement age for men and women.
How will these changes affect me?
The changes will only apply to people of working age.
Housing benefit rules allow:
Here are some examples of families who will be affected by these changes.
How much will this cost me?
We anticipate that people currently under occupying by one bedroom will have their housing benefit cut by approximately £11 per week and people under occupying by two or more bedrooms by approximately £22 per week. These figures are approximate only and will be confirmed nearer April 2013.
What shall I do now?
Look for rehousing?
If you are already on the waiting list consider very carefully the homes you apply for. If you are of working age and in receipt of housing benefit, this may be cut if you are under-occupying your home.
I am under occupying already?
If you are already a tenant of a social landlord and are under-occupying your home, you might want to consider these options:
I dont want to move?
If you are an existing tenant of a social landlord such as Peaks & Plains, Wulvern or Plus Dane you can remain in your present home but from April 2013 you will have to pay the shortfall in your housing benefit for any extra spare bedrooms.
These changes are subject to approval by the Government. We will update you as the proposals go through Parliament.
For further information or advice relating to housing benefit call Cheshire East Council on 0300 123 5013
For advice and information relating to your Housing Application please contact Cheshire Homechoice on 0300 123 5031
For other information please contact your landlord