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Nearly 600 families hit by bedroom tax
9:00am Monday 4th November 2013 in News
ALMOST 600 Test Valley families have been affected by the Government’s new bedroom tax.
In a report which will be presented to Test Valley Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Wednesday, figures show that 597 households must now pay a spare room subsidy.
In 513 cases, this is because they have one extra bedroom, but 84 recipients have an excess of two rooms.
These 84 households, who now receive lower housing benefit payments because of the extra rooms, have been sent letters by the borough council about how to apply for smaller accommodation or exchanging with another tenant.
They have also been advised about the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).
Although the council was given extra DHP funding from the Government to help those affected in the short term, 73 per cent of funds for 2013/2014 have already been allocated.
The report also states that Test Valley Borough Council has agreed not to reduce the amount of Council Tax Support – which was previously known as Council Tax Benefit – for this financial year, in a bid to help struggling families on benefits.
Figures show that, as of last month, there were 14 households affected by the new benefits cap, where the Government has prevented any one household from claiming more than £26,000 in benefits in a year.
Those who have been subjected to the cap have had an average weekly loss of £59.35 in housing benefit, added the report.
However, the council has said that it has offered all affected families information on the options available to them.
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