Brent Council tenants will be offered up to £6,000 to downsize their home

Brent Council are offering £2,000 per bedroom to downsizers

Brent Council are offering £2,000 per bedroom to downsizers - Credit: Archant

Housing chiefs double cash incentive to help residents affected by the bedroom tax

Housing chiefs have doubled the cash incentive offered to council tenants to downsize their properties in an effort to help residents affected by the ‘Bedroom Tax’.

Householders living in council properties, which are managed by Brent Housing Partnership (BHP), will be given £2,000 for each bedroom they give up if they move to a smaller property.

This would result in a tenant who moves from a three-bedroom property to a one bedroom being entitled to £4,000.

The maximum payment allowed is £6,000.

The £256,000-a-year scheme, which was voted through at an Executive meeting last night, hopes to assist families who have been hit with the tax which came into force earlier this month.

Under the scheme, which was brought in by the government as part of its welfare reforms, anyone living in council or housing association property and has a spare bedroom, is of a working age and is claiming housing benefit will have their payments reduced.

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If they are deemed to have one spare bedroom their housing benefit will be slashed by 14 per cent but if they have two or more rooms this will be upped to 25 per cent.

Some tenants are exempt including pensioners, some foster carers, some disabled residents and parents of children who are away serving in the armed forces.

According to a council report around 634 BHP tenants have been identified as under occupying their home.

It is believed around 2,000 families in Brent will be affected by the bedroom tax.

In addition to the cash payments, which will be given to tenants after any outstanding rent arrears are cleared, they will also be given a handyman to help them pack for four fours on the day of their move and removal costs of up to £500.