If you live in a council or housing association home and have one or more spare bedrooms your housing benefit (or housing element of Universal Credit) will be reduced.

This has several names – ‘under-occupancy’, ‘bedroom tax’ or ‘removal of the spare room subsidy’.



If housing benefit (or the housing element of Universal Credit) would have otherwise covered all of your rent, this will be cut by:



•    14% for one spare bedroom


•    25% for two or more spare bedrooms



If your housing benefit (or housing element of Universal Credit), covers part of your rent only, you may lose more than this.



The new rules mean housing costs will be paid for one bedroom for:



•    each adult couple


•    any other person aged 16 or over


•    two children of the same sex under the age of 16


•    two children, regardless of sex, under the age of 10


•    any other child


•    a carer (who does not normally live with you) if you or your partner need overnight care


•    an additional room for foster carers who have fostered a child or been approved for fostering in the last year.



If you are of working age, have a disability and need a spare bedroom so that a carer can stay overnight, you should contact your council so that staff can help you keep more of your housing benefit.   If you are on Universal Credit please speak to the DWP.
  • This could affect you if:

    • •    you are aged 16 to 61 years old
      •    you only get a small amount of housing benefit  or help with housing costs, for example if you are working
      •    you are sick or disabled.
  • This won't affect you if:

    • •    you live in a home with just one bedroom
      •    you or your partner are old enough to receive pension credits
      •    you have the correct number of bedrooms for the people in your home
      •    you live in a shared ownership property.

      Members of the armed forces are treated as continuing to live at home when deployed on operations, as are adult students studying away from home if they are away for less than 52 weeks (under housing benefit) or six months (under Universal Credit).

      In some circumstances a severely disabled child is allowed their own bedroom - usually if they would seriously disrupt the sleep of another child if they were to share a room.
  • What can I do I am struggling with the changes?

    • Firstly, please contact your customer service partner or support worker.

      Talk to us about different ways to pay or your housing options.

      If you’d like to consider moving to a house with fewer bedrooms, you can apply for a mutual exchange through Home Swapper or by talking to your customer service partner or support worker to see what accommodation Home Group has available.

      You can contact your local council to ask about extra financial help.  

      Councils have a limited amount of money to make discretionary payments towards housing costs.  

      Your council may prioritise your claim if you have a disability and your house has been adapted.