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Changes to Housing benefit from April 2013 – spare bedrooms

The government has introduced a system of Welfare benefit reforms. Find out how the new rules on spare bedrooms could affect you.

Welfare reforms 2013

The government has introduced a system of Welfare benefit reforms to:

  • create a fairer system for low-income working families and for the taxpayer
  • ensure that people on benefit are not living in accommodation that would be out of the reach of most people in work
  • achieve savings - around £1 billion by 2015/16

You can read more about the reforms on GOV.UK: 

Simplifying the welfare system and making sure work pays

New rules on spare bedrooms

Part of the reforms will introduce new rules for the size of accommodation that Housing benefit, and then Universal Credit, will cover for working age tenants renting in the social sector. This brings them in line with those renting in the private rented sector. You can read more on GOV.UK:

Making sure housing support is fair and affordable

What do I need to do?

If your benefit is reduced, you need to pay the Council or your Housing Association the difference between the amount of Housing benefit you are entitled to and your rent.

Or you could apply to move to a smaller home so your Housing benefit is not cut by these new rules. Read our online information on moving to a smaller home or contact us for advice.