CHESHIRE West and Chester Council is to write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to highlight resident groups who may be affected by changes to size criteria rules for social housing.
Often referred to as the ‘bedroom tax’ element of the incoming welfare reforms, the changes will see monthly income reductions of 14 and 25% for those who claim housing benefit if they live in a property with spare bedrooms.
A number of residents within west Cheshire who may find it difficult to move to a smaller property, or live on a lower income, were highlighted to the council’s Executive, which has now agreed to share the examples with central government.
The move follows a notice of motion by Cllr Carolyn Graham referred from council.
Visiting member, Cllr Ben Powell, said: “Modelling by the National Housing Federation found that while 180,000 social tenants in England are under occupying two bedroom homes, only 85,000 one-bed social homes became available for letting in 2011-12.
“So if every single one bedroom property available was rented by somebody downsizing - which of course wouldn’t be possible - there would still be 95,000 people trapped in under-occupation.
“These are not just people who found themselves out of work, they are also nurses, shop workers, carers - 93% of new housing benefit claimants in the lifetime of this government are in employment.”