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23 January 2013

Westminster debates on under-occupation

Labour MP Jessica Morden hosted a debate at Westminster Hall yesterday, on the effects of the bedroom tax on social housing tenants in Wales. The debate was well attended by Welsh MPs, and CHC were happy to provide all Welsh MPs with a briefing on the effects of these changes.

Ms. Morden also raised some of the issues faced by tenants in finding a solution if they are under-occupying, as discussed with the Your Benefits Are Changing advisors. She said:

“The findings of the hotline of Community Housing Cymru— “Your Benefits Are Changing”—found that 13% of people who rang would consider downsizing and 8% might consider a lodger. However, 79% said that taking on a lodger or moving were not suitable options and that they would apply for discretionary housing payments.

I believe that £7 million has been allocated to Wales, which faces a potential loss of £25 million. That is the Government’s answer to those who cannot move. There is a limited amount of money from the Government towards those payments, but once it has been used, no other payments can be made.”

For further information, please see the Hansard record of the debate here, along with the Briefing sent to Welsh MPs below.

There will also be a further debate on under-occupation today – also at Westminster Hall – from 2.30pm. This will be available to view on Parliament TV.

Briefing for MPs