The removal of the spare room subsidy, also known as the bedroom tax or under occupation penalty, came into force on 1 April 2013. The aim of the policy was twofold: to reduce housing benefit expenditure, and to use existing public sector housing stock more efficiently.
The government estimated that 80,000 claimants in Scotland would be affected by the bedroom tax, with an average weekly loss of £12. This represented approximately 33% of the working age housing benefit claimants in Scotland.
Those claimants will have to make up the shortfall between housing benefit and rent each week, or move to a smaller property. The bedroom tax also has implications for social landlords. The same landlord has to consider how to provide housing to all their tenants, many of them vulnerable, when the income from rent is becoming less reliable.
This is an interim report on the impact of Bedroom Tax in Scotland.