The York Council admitted that only about 10% of its 8000 plus tenants will be affected by changes to Housing benefit.
From 1st April benefit has not been payable on spare bedrooms.
The changes do not affect those paying full rent or pensioners while special arrangements apply for forces personnel, people with disabilities and foster carers.
Private tenants are not affected by the change.
658 Council tenants have been affected by the removal of the empty room subsidy together with another 378 living in housing association properties
Of these, 156 Council tenants have 2 or more empty bedrooms. The equivalent figure for housing associations is 68.
A tenant with 1 unused bedroom could lose around £10 a week (14%) in rent subsidy.
It remains unclear whether the Council have fulfilled their promise to visit all affected tenants and offer advice on the options available to them.
Tenants have a right of appeal against the Councils assessment (for example, if a room is unsuitable to be classified as a “bedroom”)
More information is available on the Councils web site.
It includes a rather bureaucratic explanation of the discretionary housing payments scheme which is intended to help those who find themselves in hardship.
An application form can be obtained by clicking here
NB. There are over 4000 residents on the waiting list for homes in York. The vast majority of these are living in overcrowded conditions.