Bishop of Ripon and Leeds calls for flexibility in administration of underoccupancy charge

On 20th January 2014, Baroness Hollis of Heigham asked Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to revise their underoccupancy charge so that, as in the private rented sector from 2008, it applies only to new tenants.

R_LThe Bishop of Ripon and Leeds asked a supplementary question:

The Lord Bishop of Ripon and Leeds: My Lords, what flexibility is there for housing authorities in the implementation of the underoccupancy charge in circumstances such as when a child dies and the house thereby becomes underoccupied?

Lord Freud: The basic principle here is that when a child dies or there is a death, there is a 12-month run-on so that tenants remain entitled to that room for that full year. However, the underpinning support for making sure that these cases of hardship are managed is clearly the discretionary housing fund, which is running at £180 million this year and will be at £165 million next year.