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Bedroom Tax

Requested on
Tue 8th January, 2013
Reference
FOI 2582
Resolution
Information provided

Question

1. The number of households in the council area that are known or believed to be under-occupying their properties by one bedroom, under the terms of the ‘bedroom tax’

2. The number of households in the council area that are known or believed to be under-occupying their properties by two or more bedrooms, under the terms of the ‘bedroom tax’

3. The forecast average weekly loss in Housing Benefit for tenants who are under-occupying by one bed, due to the ‘bedroom tax’

4. The forecast average weekly loss in Housing Benefit for tenants under-occupying by two or more bedrooms, due to the ‘bedroom tax’

5. Any steps the council has taken, is taking or intends to take to assist affected tenants.

6. The number of housing tenants the council has transferred to smaller homes so far during 2012/13

7. Any data on the number of affected tenants who have informed the council that they plan to move home, or alternatively that they plan to remain in their current abode.

8. Any estimate of how many vacant one-bedroom properties currently exist (or are likely to exist in April 2013) (a) in the local council housing stock and (b) in the social and affordable housing stock of local housing associations

Answer

1. The number of households in the council area that are known or believed to be under-occupying their properties by one bedroom, under the terms of the ‘bedroom tax’   around 750 

 2. The number of households in the council area that are known or believed to be under-occupying their properties by two or more bedrooms, under the terms of the ‘bedroom tax’  around 250     
 
 3. The forecast average weekly loss in Housing Benefit for tenants who are under-occupying by one bed, due to the ‘bedroom tax’  Dependent on rental charge.  14% of eligible rental charged.

 4. The forecast average weekly loss in Housing Benefit for tenants under-occupying by two or more bedrooms, due to the ‘bedroom tax’    Dependent on rental charge.  25% of eligible rental charged.

 5. Any steps the council has taken, is taking or intends to take to assist affected tenants.  We have in place a Financial Inclusion Officer; We have put a report to cabinet for a 3 year arrangement with Clockwise Credit Union; We are carrying out comprehensive road shows in all key areas where tenants are affected in conjunction with Bridge Housing Services; Contacting all affected customers to help them understand the scale of the impact for them individually; promoting the national mobility scheme, Homeswapper; Discretionary Housing Payments are being widely promoted to customers that are affected as a transitional cushion whilst the tenants works out their options

 6. The number of housing tenants the council has transferred to smaller homes so far during 2012/13   Although the council does hold this information in the form of individual transfer records; we do not hold it in a form that allows easy collation of this information.  The time required to go through each housing file to identify transfers to smaller properties would exceed the appropriate limit for dealing with requests set out in section 12 of the Act and the Appropriate Limit and Fees Regulations

The Council would normally wish to offer suggestions as to how some of the information could be provided or how a differently worded request could result in information being provided within the terms of the Act and the Regulations.  However due to the complexity of the information requested in this case in relation to the way in which the Council holds information this does not appear possible in this case. 

 7. Any data on the number of affected tenants who have informed the council that they plan to move home, or alternatively that they plan to remain in their current abode.  Number of tenants who are wanting to move/ stay - of the 150 (circa) so far spoken to directly/ or have completed a housing survey, approximately 50% wish to remain in their homes. We will have more detailed information following the end of the road shows in March 2013.

 8. Any estimate of how many vacant one-bedroom properties currently exist (or are likely to exist in April 2013) (a) in the local council housing stock and (b) in the social and affordable housing stock of local housing associations At the time of response Charnwood Borough Council currently have 91 empty 1 bed properties and there are 7 Housing Association ones being advertised on the bid round

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