Would be keen to get as much research from social landlords on this issue up here today. Riverside Group has just sent detailed research through to me on Twitter which takes a detailed look at the impact of changes on under-occupying tenants in one neighbourhood in Tranmere and Rock Ferry - which has around 2,500 social rented homes.
It has 421 tenants in the area - one in four of whom it has worked out will be affected by housing benefit cuts to under-occupiers of working age. It says nearly nine in ten of these under-occupy by one bedroom.
It says that if Riverside made all of its one bedroom vacancies available exclusively for its downsizing tenants, then the process would take six years. The implication, it states, is that tenants face a move into the private rented sector - at an average rent increase of £2.68 a week (handily housing benefit will cover the increase) - or the majority of tenants will stay put. It says this means they will have to 'cope with significantly reduced income levels - nearly 30 per cent of weekly disposable income in the case of a single person job seeker'.
It adds: 'This will cause significant hardship for households already living in a low income community, with residents suggesting that harsh choices will have to be made between basic necessities and paying the rent'.
For the full report see: http://bit.ly/ysEeiw
The full report is well worth a read - although the information in it is far from comforting. Again, would be good to get as much detailed information as possible from other landlords on this so we can build up as accurate a picture as possible about the issues facing them and their tenants. Would be great if people could post below setting out their experiences. Apparently there is a problem pasting links in the forum so if people want to email me the information I can be contacted at email@example.com