Size criteria will now be applied to the social housing sector. This means that people living in houses larger than they need (under-occupiers) will have to move to somewhere smaller or make up the difference in rent because their Housing Benefit will be reduced.
This change is for working-age people only. Housing benefit size criteria does not apply to people of a pensionable age or people in shared accomodation.
- 1 bedroom for each adult or adult couple plus
- 1 bedroom for every 2 children under the age of 10 (regardless of gender)
- 1 bedroom for every 2 children under the age of 16 if they are the same gender
- 1 bedroom for any other child
- 1 bedroom for a non resident carer if providing care for the tenant or their partner.
Housing benefit reduction
If you have more rooms than the Social Sector Size Criteria allows, the eligible rent used in your Housing Benefit calculation will be reduced by:
- 14% if you under-occupy by one bedroom
- 25% if you under-occupy by two or more bedrooms
Discretionary housing payments
Extra help will be made available by means of a Discretionary Housing Payment Fund for those who are affected by this change. This money is intended primarily for:
- those that have to remain in their property as it has been adapted to suit their disability
- those who have to keep a room spare as they are registered foster carers.