Prisoner entitled to 4 times the bedroom space than a social tenant!

A prisoner is entitled to a room four times the size that the DWP maintains is a bedroom for a social tenant.

I was alerted to a Ministry of Justice document called Certified Prisoner Accommodation which sets out the minimum sizes for prisoners and the relevant size issue is detailed below and is from ppage 45 of the MoJ document


Note it says minimum size for a single cell is 6.8msq or 73.31 square feet of floor space

Now skip to the DWP guidance issued in HB circular U6 of 2103 (Yes that’s the one they rushed out after the Fife room size bedroom tax wins aka the Capt Mainwaring guidance!)

Paragraph 5 of this says: –

In determining whether or not a room is a bedroom the landlord may consider a number of factors, but one of these must be whether or not a room is large enough to accommodate at least a single bed

To read that literally it says if a room can fit in a single bed (and nothing else) then its a bedroom. That is the view of the DWP.  You could have no space at top, bottom or any side of the single bed in such a room according to DWP ‘guidance.’  It could also mean literally a room is a bedroom if it can fit a single bed in it standing on its end about 3ft x 2ft or 6 square feet! Yet a single bed is typically 6 feet 6 inches in length and about 2ft 9 inches at the narrowest making 17.88 square feet which the DWP by definition say is big enough for a bedroom.

Hence a prisoner is entitled to 73.31 square feet or more than 4 times the floor space of the 17.88 square feet the DWP deem is big enough for a social tenant!




15 thoughts on “Prisoner entitled to 4 times the bedroom space than a social tenant!

    1. The min floor space standards are in official MOJ file – just search on ‘certified prisoner accommodation’ and the quote over bedroom tax room size is from HB circular as stated.

  1. I’m not absolutely sure, but I think a single bed is 6’3″ long, not, 6’6″?? Not that it’s much difference.

    How does this help us Joe?
    Should this be quoted as part of a room size appeal??

    1. The point was illustrative to show how ridiculous IDS’s claimed view of what is a bedroom. More useful in PR terms against the bedroom tax generally than purposeful for an appeal for me. That said the certified prisoner accommodation is a lengthy document which discusses necessary space needed around and in between furnishings (similar to WQHS) which can be used and I hear will be in the next week or so

  2. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    You can either see this as evidence of the complete incompetence of the DWP, in that they’re unaware about the regulations concerning bedroom size used by other departments, or that it’s another example of the complete and utter contempt the DWP has for welfare claimants. Of course, the two or not mutually exclusive.

  3. My understanding is this argument along with others is going to be used this week in a tribunal in Liverpool/ Birkenhead. So watch this space!

    1. Yes and there are many subtle arguments that can be used that perhaps will be more useful than the 4 x the space point. The very resourceful activist who located this certified prisoner accommodation standard I’m sure has many up his sleeve!

  4. Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    What a disgrace – but it is more evidence about what space IDS reckons is sufficient for a bedroom for those on benefits…

    1. Wont happen for one very simple reason. If we had a definition of ‘bedroom’ and imagine that was a minimum of 70 sq/ft then every homeowner who had bought an alleged 3 bed property would find they have a 2 bed plus boxroom property and wiping£billions off the value of properties nationally causing the biggest recession ever seen as 65% of all homes in this country would be worth less and the borrowing against the of mortgages, 2nd mortgages and loans would create pandemonium

      1. Good point – and it is a con trick. Everybody knows they are living in smaller rooms, but below a certain size rooms are very inconvenient to live in. There are many reasons why we won’t get anything rational regarding room size. Sub-division of rooms in London doubles the rent for landlords.

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