Bedroom Tax has hit social housing tenants in the North West of England harder than any other region of the UK, a survey suggests.

The shocking results of a survey from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) also reveal how only 16% of newly affected households (wave 3) say bedroom tax encourages them to look for work.

35% of social housing tenants in the North West of England, who were surveyed by the DWP, reported a reduction in Housing Benefit entitlement as a result of the Bedroom Tax in its third wave, otherwise knows as removal of the ‘Spare Room Subsidy’ or under-occupation penalty.

Joint second were social housing residents in the North East, West Midlands and the East of England (28%). In third were Yorkshire and the Humber, the East Midlands and Scotland (27%). Wales (23%), North East (22%). The least affected were those in the South East and South West (16%).

17% of social housing tenants living in London reported a drop in Housing Benefit.

Source: Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
Source: Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

The survey also revealed how tenants between the ages of 50-59 were more likely to be forced to contribute toward their rent than any other age group (46%), during the third wave of the introduction of bedroom tax.

35-49 year-old were the second most affected group (29%), while the under 35’s came in a close third at 27%.

60-69 year-olds and those over the age of 70 were the least affected groups, according to the survey – 7% and 4% respectively.

Female social housing tenants were slightly more likely to be affected by the bedroom tax than men – 25% of females surveyed compared to 23% of men.

In total 24% of those interviewed by the DWP said their Housing Benefit had been reduced as a result of the bedroom tax. Nearly three-quarters said it had stayed the same and 2% said they didn’t know if it had changed.

When asked what options they would consider to help manage their housing costs, 30% of those affected by the bedroom tax said they would move to a smaller property.

45% said they would apply for a Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) – local authority administered financial support available to affected households struggling to pay rent – and 21% said they may consider swapping homes.

Only 16% said they would consider looking for a job, while 5% said they would ask other adults in their household to pay rent.

7% said they would consider increasing the number of hours they currently worked.

A whopping 31% angrily said they would not consider any of the options presented to them by the DWP.

Source: Department for Work and Pensions
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

Social housing tenants occupying a property deemed to be larger than their requirements must downsize to a smaller property or contribute toward their rent through a deduction in Housing Benefit entitlement – 14% for one ‘spare’ room or 25% for two or more.

Opponents of the policy argue there is a shortage of smaller social homes, meaning those affected are unable to move and can be trapped into paying the bedroom tax.

Around 3 in 4 affected households include a person who is disabled. Critics say adapting a smaller home to meet the needs of a disabled person, when their current home may already have been expensively adapted, will result in additional costs for local authorities.

A recent attempt by the Labour Party to force the government to abolish the bedroom tax was defeated by 298 to 266 votes.

3 COMMENTS

  1. WATCH OUT OF LABOUR GIVE UNFETTERED CONTROL OF HOUSING BENEFIT TO COUNCILS TORY COUNCILS LIKE THOSE IN WEST KENT WILL SCREW DISABLED PEOPLE AS THEYHAVE WITH VCOUNCIL TAX BENEFIT BY ALL BUT SCRAPING IT MY COUNCIL TAX ROSE106% THE AVERVAGE RISE WAS 2.5%LABOUR MUST PUT SAFE GUARDS IN TO STOP TORY COUNCILS CONTINUE THE DEVASTATION OF DISABLEDPEOPLE’S LIVE EXECUTED OVER THE LAST 4 YEARS BY THE TORY PARTY IN GOVERNMENT

  2. This disgusts me I am a bed bound tenant of an adapted home. The council have categorically said they CAN NOT re-house me. So I pay the tax. The public were told that disabled people were exempt. Another lie from the master of lie

    • Jenny . You have to fully understand you are deemed as worthless by Ian Duncan Smith and the rest of the Tory led government.
      Ian Duncan Smith wants to gas the poor but at present he knows David Cameron would object to the Gas bill so he continues to find new ways to strip benefits away in the hope people starve to death or freeze to death in the winter months. until such time false propaganda around welfare stirs the hatred to a point he can build death camps to send the poor to and get Cameron to fund the zyklon B needed to dispose of the unemployed, disabled and state pensioner.
      The Big Society was never designed to include the poor.

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