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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Bedroom tax

Some people who rent their homes from the Housing Executive or a housing association and who receive Housing Benefit may be subject to the “social sector size criteria” or “bedroom tax”.  This is a cut to your Housing Benefit if your home has more bedrooms than the Government says you need.  This change to Housing Benefit will take effect in Northern Ireland from 20 February 2017.

This information explains how this new system works, who is and who is not affected, and what help is available if your Housing Benefit is cut because your home is too large. 

If you rent your home from the Housing Executive or a housing association and you receive Housing Benefit, the amount of money you receive could be reduced if your home has too many bedrooms. Find out how many rooms your household is allowed.

The bedroom tax is a reduction in Housing Benefit for people who live in a property that is owned by NIHE or a housing association and that is too large for their household. Its proper name is the “social sector size criteria”, but most people call it the “bedroom tax”.

The bedroom tax is a policy that cuts the amount of help you get to pay rent if you have too many bedrooms.  It only applies to people who rent their homes from

  • the Housing Executive, or
  • a registered housing association.

People in Northern Ireland will usually get an extra payment to make up the money they lose. This is called a welfare supplementary payment.