19 Nov 2013

New data shows how many families have been hit by the bedroom tax

Over 27,000 South West families and 36,000 South East families were hit by the bedroom tax in August 2013, according to new data released by the Government and analysed by the National Housing Federation.1

The analysis shows that affected families in the South West saw an average reduction in housing benefit of over £782 per year. 22,976 families were under-occupying by one bedroom and 4,317 were under-occupying by two or more.2

In the South East, families affected lost more money per week than any other region in England except London, with an average reduction in housing benefit of £905 per year. 30,534 families were under-occupying by one bedroom and 6,235 were under-occupying by two or more.2

The bedroom tax came into force on 1 April, 2013 and this is the first time the Government has released data showing the actual numbers hit. But even this does not show the full extent of families affected – it excludes those working families, previously in receipt of a small amount of housing benefit, whose entitlement has been completely wiped out by the bedroom tax.

The new data follows a recent National Housing Federation survey of 51 housing associations which showed that 51% of households affected by the bedroom tax were unable to pay their rent between April and June.3

National Housing Federation Chief Executive David Orr said, said: “These new Government figures show that the bedroom tax is affecting thousands of people in the UK – for many, there isn’t even anywhere for them to downsize to. There simply aren’t enough smaller social homes available, and the cost of private rented housing is rising all the time.

“The Government says discretionary housing payments will help those who cannot downsize, but there isn’t anywhere near enough money to go round.

“The bedroom tax is trapping many people in homes they can no longer afford and where they are struggling to pay their rents. It is unfair, badly designed, and must be repealed.”

For more information, please visit www.housing.org.uk 

 

REFERENCES

1) 27,357 households in the South West had their Housing Benefit reduced due to the bedroom tax. National Housing Federation analysis of DWP Housing benefit statistics, August 2013
2) National Housing Federation analysis of DWP Housing benefit statistics, August 2013
3) The National Housing Federation surveyed 51 housing associations who between them had a total of 63,758 tenant households affected by the bedroom tax. Of these, 32,432 have gone into arrears or further into arrears between 1 April and 30 June.