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Under Occupation Penalty (Bedroom Tax) - Briefing Paper

Under occupying social housing tenants of working age face a benefit deduction of up to 14% of their housing credit if they have one spare room and up to 25% for two spare rooms. The reduction is taken off the whole eligible rent and any eligible service charges and the housing benefit is then based on the proportion of the rent that the claimant is liable to pay. This is known as the under occupation penalty, social sector size criteria or ‘bedroom tax’. The government estimates that this measure will save £490million. The measure came into effect in April 2013. The government considers that the policy will help to reduce housing benefit expenditure and will encourage tenants to either seek work or move thus freeing up social homes. However, critics describe the measure as a ‘bedroom tax’ that will adversely affect 660,000 social tenants. This comprises 31% of existing working age housing benefit claimants in the social housing sector – most of whom have one spare bedroom.

Of the affected claimants, 420,000 are disabled, 200,000 claim Disability Living Allowance and 100,000 live in properties that have been adapted for disabled residents.

This briefing paper looks in detail at the under-occupation penalty (or bedroom tax) a copy can be freely downloaded from HERE

Under occupying social housing tenants of working age face a benefit deduction of up to 14% of their housing credit if they have one spare room and up to 25% for two spare rooms. The reduction is taken off the whole eligible rent and any eligible service charges and the housing benefit is then based on the proportion of the rent that the claimant is liable to pay. This is known as the under occupation penalty, social sector size criteria or ‘bedroom tax’. The government estimates that this measure will save £490million. The measure came into effect in April 2013. The government considers that the policy will help to reduce housing benefit expenditure and will encourage tenants to either seek work or move thus freeing up social homes. However, critics describe the measure as a ‘bedroom tax’ that will adversely affect 660,000 social tenants. This comprises 31% of existing working age housing benefit claimants in the social housing sector – most of whom have one spare bedroom.

Of the affected claimants, 420,000 are disabled, 200,000 claim Disability Living Allowance and 100,000 live in properties that have been adapted for disabled residents.

This briefing paper looks in detail at the under-occupation penalty (or bedroom tax) a copy can be freely downloaded from HERE

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