County housing association has ‘bedroom tax’ concerns

Bedroom Tax protest outside the Guildhall.
Bedroom Tax protest outside the Guildhall.

A housing association in Northamptonshire is expressing concern about the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’ on families in the county.

This week the Government has introduced changes to the way housing benefit is allocated so families living in a housing association accommodation property which is deemed to be larger than they need will lose an average of £16 per week.

Chris Sparrow, chairman of Northamptonshire Rural Housing Association (NRHA) said he supported the changes to the welfare system in principle but was worried about the lack of social housing to rehome people wanting to downsize.

He said: “This means that it is not easy to find alternative smaller homes for many of our tenants, particularly for those who need only one bedroom.

“In the light of these changes, we have been looking at our portfolio of properties, but we strongly believe that when designing new homes we should be thinking about the long term needs of potential tenants, rather than any particular requirements of the benefits system.”

The housing association is also reminding tenants that they are able to claim discretionary housing payments via their local council. The claims are considered on a case by case basis.