Report finds bedroom tax failed to solve under-occupancy

  • A report has revealed that the bedroom tax has failed to solve the under-occupancy problem in the social housing sector.

    The report titled, ‘Here and There: One year of the Bedroom Tax', has been composed by six housing associations and is the first of its kind to analyse a complete years' worth of data on the impact of the governments under-occupancy policy, reports 24dash. Annual Report 2

    It reveals that almost three quarters of people who have been affected are unable to downsize due to a shortage of smaller homes and housing associations are now struggling to let larger homes due to demand plummeting. It also shows that arrears among tenants affected rose initially but steadied after housing associations invested in extra staff so that tenants were supported with money and benefits advice.

    The report was written by Aragon Housing Association, South Northants Homes, both part of Grand Union Housing Group, Aldwyck Housing Group, Daventry District Housing, Soha and Howard Cottage Housing Association.

    Alan Humphreys, chief executive of Grand Union Housing Group, said: "The fact remains that nearly three quarters of people who were affected by the bedroom tax remain unable to downsize because of a chronic shortage of smaller homes. We are still seeing how the bedroom tax has had a disproportionate impact on a small number of our tenants.  That does not achieve what the government set out to do, which was to make better use of the housing stock, and to ease over-crowding in our areas, and indicates that there is perhaps not the demand from larger families."

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