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Cumbria Choice

Welfare Reform

Please note that as a result of the changes brought about by the Welfare Reform Act 2013 Registered Providers will give preference when allocating properties to those households who will ‘fully occupy’ the property as defined by the Government regulations.  This means that shortlists may be distorted and may not reflect your true position on the shortlist.  Successful applicants will be contacted in the normal way by the organisation making the allocation.

Guidance on full occupation:

From April 2013 all current and future working age tenants renting from a Local Authority, Housing Association or other Registered Social Landlord will no longer receive help towards the costs of a spare room. They will receive help towards their housing costs based on the need of their household.

The new rules allow 1 bedroom for each person or couple living as part of the household with the following exceptions:

  • children aged under 16 of the same gender are expected to share
  • children aged under 10 are expected to share regardless of gender
  • a disabled tenant or partner who needs a non-resident overnight carer is allowed an extra room

Children who cannot share a bedroom because of a disability or medical condition may be entitled to an extra room. Claimants will need to contact their Local Authority and will be asked for medical evidence to support their claim.

On 12 March 2013 we clarified how these rules affect foster carers and armed forces personnel.

  • An additional bedroom will be allowed where the claimant or their partner is caring for a foster child or has been accepted as a foster carer but has no child living with them as long as the period without a child does not exceed 52 weeks.
  • An additional bedroom will be allowed for adult children who are in the armed forces and continue to live with their parents, even when they are deployed on operations. This means that the size criteria will not apply to the room normally occupied by the member of the armed forces.

The new rules mean that those tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need may lose part of the money they get towards their housing through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Their eligible rent will be reduced by:

  • 14% for those with 1 spare bedroom
  • 25% for those with 2 or more spare bedrooms

Additional Guidance for Applicants Produced by Cumbria Choice Partner Landlords:

Accent Welfare Reform Guidance Statement

Barrow Borough Council Welfare Reform Guidance Statement

Eden Housing Welfare Reform Guidance Statement

Impact Housing Welfare Reform Guidance Statement

South Lakes Housing Welfare Reform Guidance Statement

Your Derwent and Solway Welfare Reform Guidance Statement

Home Group Welfare Reform Guidance Statement  

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