Housing benefit changes, bedroom tax 'creating more problems'

Ahead of an Opposition Day Debate in the House of Commons, charity Citizens Advice has warned that changes to Housing Benefit are “simply creating more problems”.

The Housing Benefit reform, which came into effect in April this year, is aiming to cut costs by restricting the size of accommodation a family can receive Housing Benefit for. 

However, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, has warned: “The Government’s solution to spiralling Housing Benefit costs is simply creating more problems”. 

“Thousands are being pushed into arrears, 96 per cent of people affected have no alternative smaller homes to move into and some housing associations say they are being forced to demolish homes whilst 1.8 million languish on waiting lists”.

Gillian Guy also argues that it is the housing shortage, not the status of families, which is causing problems, and that households with disabled residents are being especially affected by the bedroom tax.

“For many disabled people and their families, having a second bedroom is not a luxury but an indispensible necessity. The under-occupancy penalty risks forcing a small number of families to bear the burden of years of under-investment in our housing stock”, she added.