What you need to know about new bedroom tax

MP Jon Trickett outside the job centre in Hemsworth.'h8929b224
MP Jon Trickett outside the job centre in Hemsworth.'h8929b224

Thousands of social housing tenants face moving home or losing money when a “bedroom tax” on spare rooms comes into force.

More than 5,000 tenants across the district could be affected by cuts to housing benefit for people in housing association homes with a spare room.

Tenants will be told to move into a smaller property or will have to pay an under-occupation penalty.

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett has been contacted by many residents worried about the tax.

He said: “It’s a devastating piece of legislation which will penalise those most vulnerable and on the lowest incomes.”

Social housing tenants with one spare room will lose 14 per cent of their housing benefit and those with two spare rooms will lose 25 per cent.

One person the tax will affect is Chris Fowles, of Camp Road, South Kirkby.

Mr Fowles, 46, was left paralysed for six months after a serious accident at work nine years ago and still relies on the support of his adult children.

He lives in a three-bedroom property and one room belongs to his 19-year-old son, Christopher, who is in the army.

He regularly comes home to visit from and look after his dad. But under the legislation, the room will be classed as ‘unoccupied’ and will mean Mr Fowles’ benefits are cut.

Mr Fowles has lived at the address for 24 years, and said: “He could sleep on the sofa but why should he have to when he has lived here since he was born.”

He said it was not possible for him to move to smaller home and he would just have to suffer the cuts.

He added: “The government are saying it’s a one size fits all system but that just isn’t the case”