Under Occupation of Social Sector Housing


Under Occupation of Social Sector Housing

From 01 April 2013 the amount of Housing Benefit you receive may be reduced if

  • You rent from a Registered Housing Association or other Registered Social Landlord
  • You and or your partner are both under Pension Credit age

The amount of Housing Benefit you get will be based on the number of bedrooms your household needs for Housing Benefit purposes. If you are deemed to have more bedrooms in the property than you need it will be classed as under occupation.

Under occupation is determined by the number of bedrooms you and your household need and is calculated in the same way as the Local Housing Allowance size criteria.

One bedroom is allocated for the following:

  • A couple
  • A person who is not a child (but aged 16 and over)
  • Two children of the same sex under 16
  • Two children who are under 10
  • A carer that provides overnight care
  • If 2 children are unable to share the same room due to a disability

If you are deemed to be under occupying by 1 bedroom a 14% reduction will apply to the total rent that is eligible for Housing Benefit. If you are under occupying by 2 or more bedrooms a 25% reduction applies.

The following are not subject to the under occupation restriction:

  • Shared ownership properties (i.e. Housing Association properties that are part rented and part owned).
  • Temporary Accommodation when placed under homelessness legislation
  • Supported 'exempt' accommodation (where care, support and supervision is provided by the Housing Association, registered charity or voluntary organisation)

Foster Carers

Where a claimant or partner who are approved foster carers one extra bedroom will be allowed for use by a foster child or children, in both private and social rented sectors. One extra bedroom will apply to:

  • Approved foster carers who have a child placed with them
  • Approved foster carers who are between placements but only for a period of up to 52 consecutive weeks from the date of the last placement
  • Newly approved foster carers but only for a period of up to 52 consecutive weeks from the date of the approval, if no child is placed with them during that period

Parents of Armed Forces Personnel

Adult children who are in the armed forces but who continue to live with parents will be treated as continuing to live at home (for the purposes of under occupation) when deployed on operations.

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