Thousands of people with spare rooms will be unable to escape the “bedroom” tax due to a shortage of smaller homes in the West Midlands.
Council and social housing tenants will lose 14 to 25 per cent of their housing benefit from April 1 if they have one or more spare bedrooms. It will leave them potentially paying hundreds of pounds extra a year in rent unless they are able to downsize to a smaller home.
However, it emerged today that there are three times as many people in the region affected by the housing benefit cut as there are one and two-bedroom homes which will become available through councils and social landlords over a year.
It means tenants will have to pay more to their councils or social landlords because the benefits will not be covering as much of their rent.
Figures supplied by Wolverhampton Homes, Dudley Council, Walsall Housing Group and Cannock Chase Council show that between two and 13 one-bedroom homes become available in an average week.
But in Cannock Chase almost 600 council tenants are affected by the housing benefit changes, while Walsall Housing Group has more than 2,700 affected tenants on its books and
Wolverhampton Homes has 3,000-plus. Dudley Council has more than 3,400 tenants affected.
Government under fire over bedroom tax trap - See today's Express & Star