'Bedroom tax costs could heat family home for a week'

The average financial loss faced by social housing tenants as a result of the government's controversial bedroom tax could heat a family home for almost a week, a North West-based housing association has warned.

According to the Regenda Group, the average £14 a week cut in housing benefits which tenants are facing is equivalent to the cost of six days heating every week.

Stephanie Harrison, executive director of customer services at the 13,000-home provider, said: “This figure clearly shows the impact the bedroom tax will have on some of our most vulnerable residents and the very difficult choices they will have to make.

“In the current climate a £14 per week loss would hit a working family with an average income very hard. It could be devastating for those residents who are reliant on housing benefit.

“We want the government to think again about these changes as we’re very concerned that some of our customers will face severe hardship as a result of them.”

The figure of six days loss was calculated based on the typical heating costs for a new condensing combi gas boiler in a three bedroom semi-detached house. It is based on gas unit of £4.49 p/kWh and a standing charge of £30 per quarter.