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HB Changes – Social sector size criteria Mark Ransom Assessment Manager.

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Presentation on theme: "HB Changes – Social sector size criteria Mark Ransom Assessment Manager."— Presentation transcript:

1 HB Changes – Social sector size criteria Mark Ransom Assessment Manager

2 Background to the change Part of the Welfare Reform Bill which sets out a range of measures to prepare some benefits, including HB, for their merger into Universal Credit From 1 st April 2013 rents will be restricted for working age social sector tenants whose home is deemed too large for their needs – referred to as under occupancy Pension age customers are not affected by the change Reduction will be applied through a flat rate reduction in the eligible rent used to work out HB entitlement Impacts on approx 3,300 customers and reduces HB across Cornwall by around £2.3m per year

3 How the restriction will work 14% restriction against rent for 1 bedroom under occupation 25% restriction against rent where 2 bedrooms or more are under occupied 1 bedroom allocated for –Each adult couple –Any other person aged 16 or over –2 children of the same sex under 16 –2 children under 10 regardless of sex –Any other child –A carer (who is not part of your household) if the claimant or partner need overnight care

4 How the restriction will work It does not matter how the ‘spare’ room(s) is used, the new rules will apply even if: –Claimant or partner need to sleep apart because of a medical condition –The main residence of a child is at another address but a bedroom is used when they stay with the claimant A foster child does not count as part of the household, we cannot allow for a bedroom to be allocated to a foster child

5 Examples Mr and Mrs Smith live in a three bedroom flat costing £70 per week in rent. At the moment housing benefit covers the full cost of their rent. Under the new rules they will have two spare bedrooms. Their housing benefit will be reduced by 25% of their rent (25% of £70 = £17.50) Their housing benefit will be reduced by £17.50 from £70 per week to £52.50 per week. They will have to pay £17.50 per week towards their rent.

6 Examples Mr and Mrs Bell live with their two teenage boys, aged 13 and 15, in a three bedroom house. Their rent is £100 per week and they receive £10 per week in housing benefit. Under the new rules their children will be expected to share a bedroom and so they will be treated as having one spare room. Their housing benefit will be reduced by 14% of £100 (£14), and so they will lose all their housing benefit.

7 Help available and more information Talk to your landlord about transferring to a smaller home or possibly taking in a lodger Contact Cornwall Council to ask about a DHP, funds are limited so applications will be prioritised according to need and assistance may only be short term – call Make sure all benefit entitlement is being maximised Try to find some paid work to increase your income Visit our website at:


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