MALVERN families were some of the worst hit in the West Midlands by the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’, figures have revealed.
The data which was released by the Government and analysed by the National Housing Federation showed 457 households in the town were affected.
On average families in Malvern are set to lose £861.36 a year in housing benefit, more than any other district in Worcestershire and more than most households throughout the West Midlands.
The ‘bedroom tax’ which sees reduction in housing benefit for spare bedrooms, came into force on April 1 this year and the Government released data detailing how people were affected for the first time in August.
However the National Housing Trust declared the figures do not show the full extent of the impact as it did not include families receiving a small amount of housing benefit which has been stopped altogether.
The Federation has compiled new data which showed out of 51 housing associations around half of households could not pay their rent between April and June.
Gemma Duggan, West Midlands external affairs manager for the National Housing Federation, said: “These new Government figures show that the bedroom tax is affecting thousands of people in the West Midlands. For many, there isn’t even anywhere for them to downsize to.
“There simply aren’t enough smaller social homes available, and the cost of private rented housing is rising all the time.
“The Government says discretionary housing payments will help those who cannot downsize, but there isn’t anywhere near enough money to go round.
“The bedroom tax is trapping many people in homes they can no longer afford and where they are struggling to pay their rents.
“It is unfair, badly designed, and must be repealed.”
The National Housing Federation is behind the Yes to Homes campaign which lobbies planning authorities for more affordable housing.
Visit www.yestohomes.co.uk for more information.