Under occupation is where the government believes you are living in a property that is bigger than you need. There are a shortage of family homes across the country. The government are going to reduce the amount of Housing Benefit to help with this. They will reduce housing benefit to people who are living in social rented sector tenancies and are under occupying. This includes local authority tenants and tenants of social housing and registered social landlords.
You are classed as under occupying your home if you have more bedrooms than you need.
You need one bedroom for each of the following:
If you are classed as under occupying, the amount of Housing Benefit you receive will be reduced.
There are two rates for the reduction:
Everyone claiming Housing Benefit, living in a social rented sector tenancy, aged between 16 and pension age will be affected.
Those of pensionable age will be excluded from the under occupation changes.
Extra help may be made available by a Discretionary Housing Payment for those who are affected by this change. This money is intended primarily for:
Please note that the Discretionary Housing Payment fund has a limited budget. Once used no further money is released from central government until the next financial year.
You have a number of options. You can: