Cash incentive to move to a smaller council home
Some 900 Crawley households face losing part of their housing benefits because they are ‘under-occupying’ their council-rented property.
Households that have one unoccupied bedroom will lose 14 per cent of their housing benefit while those with two empty bedrooms will lose 25 per cent.
The changes, part of Government welfare reforms to free up housing stock, could increase rent arrears and homelessness in Crawley, a borough council report has warned.
To avoid this council tenants could be offered a cash incentive of up to £500 per bedroom to cover the costs of moving to a smaller property.
Nearly 1,000 surveys have been sent to under-occupying households warning them their benefits could be cut, with 55 saying they would like to move.
The £65,000 cost of assisting 55 tenants may not be financially feasible this year, the report found.
It also suggested there may not be enough smaller accommodation to move under-occupying households into.
The proposals will be considered by the overview and scrutiny commission, chaired by Cllr Howard Bloom (Con, Southgate) on Monday October 8.
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