If you’re of working age, receive housing benefit and have one or more spare bedrooms, you’ll lose some of your benefit because of government changes called the bedroom tax (or the under-occupancy charge).
If your home is bigger than you need, you will have to pay the extra amount:
One spare bedroom - 14% of the total rent
Two or more spare bedrooms - 25% of the total rent
What can you do about the bedroom tax?
If you can't manage the cut in benefit because of the bedroom tax, you can:
Over 350 Soha tenants have been affected by the bedroom tax and we have been able to support many of them. For some, that means moving to a smaller property. We can try to help to match people with a larger or smaller property depending on their needs. Others have considered taking in a lodger. For other people, there have been no suitable properties and they have not been able to move. Here, we have supported people to apply for Discretionary Housing Payments to cover the bedroom tax on a short-term basis.
“I wish I had known about DHP,” said one tenant recently, “My daughter had to move out for a few months and I had to pay the bedroom tax for that time. I didn’t want to let her bedroom go though”.
She urges anyone else who may be affected by the bedroom tax to talk to Soha and see if there is any support that can be offered.