Welfare reform & under occupancy
We have received a number of FOI requests since the beginning of the year relating to welfare reform, under occupancy (sometimes called bedroom tax) and changes to Council Tax benefits.
We initially responded to each request individually; however the number of substantially similar requests and complexity (number of questions within each request) meant many previous responses were being copied and sent out to. We have therefore collated the responses from the requests and published them here.
As new requests are received this page will be updated. If this page does not contain the information you have requested please email so that it can be added and made public for all to see.
Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS)
How many local residents will the changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) affect?
- At March 2015 there were just over 94,380 households registered as liable for Council Tax in the borough of Northampton.
- The maximum reduction that will be applied under the scheme from April 2015 is 79%. All households will be required to pay a minimum charge of 21%.
- 10,401 households are receiving partial Council Tax Reduction and from April 2015 have had an increased amount to pay.
- 2,637 were receiving partial Council Tax Benefit and may have increased amounts to pay under CTRS.
- Under CTRS the majority of the 11,681 households identified above will be paying some or more Council Tax than they were under the previous scheme.
- Pensioners and "vulnerable" people (a total of 6471 CTR claimants) are not currently affected.
- These figures relating to CTR are as of August 2015 which are the most accurate as of time of writing.
- The council does not currently hold all records for all individuals in the borough’s area who may currently receive other forms of benefits. These are DWP records.
Under occupancy (changes to Housing Benefit)
What is the number of tenants believed to be under occupying?
440 tenants are believed to be under occupying by 1 bedroom.
400 tenants are believed to be under occupying by 2 or more bedrooms.
What is the forecast average weekly reduction in Housing Benefit for those under occupying?
The forecast average weekly reduction in Housing Benefit for those under occupying by 1 bedroom is £12.60 per tenancy.
The forecast average weekly reduction in Housing Benefit for those under occupying by 2 or more bedrooms is £22.50 per tenancy.
When did the council commence contacting these tenants?
We commenced telephoning all tenants individually likely to be affected by these changed in December 2012. Those that we could not contact during December were contacted throughout January 2013.
Please provide details of the number of tenants that have moved through the under occupation scheme.
From the 1st April 2012 – 21st January 2013 67 tenants have been moved through the under occupation scheme.
Of those so far contacted 223 have expressed a desire to remain in their current property, 73 have requested information regarding the possibility of moving to a smaller property. 111 remain undecided. (Feb 2013)
How many 1 bed properties could be available in April 2013?
The council has identified 90 x 1 bed flats that are either ready to advertise or could possibly be available in April 2013.
What is the number of weeks that Housing Benefit is paid over?
The council pays Housing Benefit on council properties over 48 weeks, and for private rented and Housing Association properties 52 weeks.
Where can I find a list of housing associations?