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Welfare Reform

The Government started a programme of Welfare Reform in 2012.  The aim of the programme is to encourage people into work, make processing benefits easier and to reduce the amount the country spends on welfare payments.

A number of a working-age benefits have been merged into one - Universal Credit - and a programme is on-going to move all claimants over to Universal Credit. This will be a monthly payment which includes money to help you to pay your rent.  Managing on one monthly payment is one of the skills the Government believe you will need you if you move into employment.

If you are a tenant of a council or a housing association, the Government has already introduced the 'spare room subsidy' (commonly referred to as the 'bedroom tax'), which means that any housing payments you receive can be reduced if you have more bedrooms than you need. 

If you are single and under 35 and rent in the private sector, you only qualify for the Shared Accommodation Rate - equivalent to what it would cost to rent a room in a shared house. 

If you are struggling to pay your rent, please don't ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Speak to your landlord so that they understand you are having problems. If you want further advice please contact the Homechoice team on 0300 123 5017 option 1.  You can also get help from the Cheshire East Citizens Advice Bureau or from the turn2us website.