A research study published by the Government’s Department for Work and Pensions on July 15th found that 60% of the half a million tenants affected by the spare room subsidy or bedroom ‘tax’ have been unable to cope with housing benefit cuts of between £14 and £22 a week. These tenants are cutting back on food or heating or running up debts in order to pay their rents.
“Although one in five claimants has registered an interest in downsizing, shortages of smaller properties mean just 4.5% of tenants had been able to move to a smaller home.” http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/15/bedroom-tax-hardship-dwp-study
The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research and Ipsos Mori based their research work on interviews and surveys with claimants, social landlords and local authorities. The report covers the first six months of the bedroom tax after its introduction in April 2013.
A National Housing Federation commissioned survey found that the North East of England is one of the regions hardest hit by the benefit changes.
“It said 32% of people affected by the bedroom tax in the North say they have cut back on food while 26% have cut back on heating. Nearly half – 45% – of those affected in the region have needed to borrow money to help pay their rent. Researchers also discovered 80% of people are concerned about falling behind with the rent, 90% are worried about meeting their living costs while 74% fear eviction. ” http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/fresh-calls-abolish-controversial-bedroom-7178119