What am I missing? David Orr head of the National Housing Federation as part of their Welfare Action Week wrote an article for Inside Housing see
In this he cites some data on the under-occupancy HB reforms:
“This is the harsh reality facing over 670,000 social housing tenants in Britain. The government claims docking housing benefit for anyone deemed to be ‘under occupying’ their homes will help free up bigger properties for families stuck on waiting lists. But the argument is deeply flawed. It assumes there are a large number of smaller homes for people to move into. They (sic) aren’t. An analysis by the Federation found 180,000 social tenants in England were ‘under occupying’ two-bedroom homes, but only 68,230 one bedroom homes became available for letting in 2009-10. Where are they meant to go?”
All good points yet the cost?
The reduction we are informed will be on average £13 per week and on the surface this would equate to a £112m reduction in the HB bill with 180,000 receiving £13 less. Yet, the simplistic proposal would see all 2 bed social under-occupiers moved to a 1 bed social home in 68,230 cases leaving the other 111,770 moving into 1 bed PRS accommodation. The differential between 2 bed council HB rates and 1 bed PRS LHA rates is about £30 per week more in the PRS.
Extrapolate the figures sees the potential £112m per week saving on social housing HB needs to be offset against a £174m increase in LHA.
So the overall HB increase, not saving, from this measure is £62m per year or a 55% increase!