Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 6330

Under-occupation Charge

Request

What are you doing to ensure that those households hit by bedroom tax can move to smaller accommodation if they need to?

Can you please provide the number of households affected by bedroom tax in Brentwood, and state how many suitable units are available for them to move to.

How many who want to move because the bedroom tax places them in financial difficulty are unable to, because suitable accommodation is unavailable?

How many are already facing homelessness?

Response

The answers I have given relate to tenants in our own housing, which I have assumed is the substance of your enquiry.

What are you doing to ensure that those households hit by bedroom tax can move to smaller accommodation if they need to?
We have made contact with every household affected by the under-occupation charge and have offered them advice concerning:
• Establishing if Discretionary Policy Payments may apply (eg due to medical circumstances requiring a second bedroom)
• Taking in lodgers
• Downsizing to a smaller properties, either through our transfer list or through a mutual exchange, and the incentives available
• Seeking independent advice.

Can you please provide the number of households affected by bedroom tax in Brentwood, and state how many suitable units are available for them to move to.
177 households are affected. There are currently 184 persons on the transfer list seeking larger accommodation, so there is broadly equivalent numbers of homes available if all those people want to move. However the dialogue we have had with the people affected so far has indicated that very few of them want to move.

How many who want to move because the bedroom tax places them in financial difficulty are unable to, because suitable accommodation is unavailable?
So far the dialogue we have had with the people affected has indicated that very few of them want to move. I do not currently have up-to-date data on how many of the 177 households have registered for a transfer. We are in the process of updating our data to give an up-to-date picture on this, so I will write to you further in about three weeks when this information should be available.

How many are already facing homelessness?
We have no approaches from anyone facing homelessness as a result of the under-occupation charge.