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Under new rules drawn up by ministers, families in receipt of housing benefit who have properties with spare bedrooms will be penalised – losing the proportion of benefit that applies to the spare rooms. The measure is designed to encourage social housing tenants to downsize, freeing up properties for larger families. However, it means that bedrooms used by foster children will also be deemed surplus and ineligible for financial support. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) insists the change will be fairer since payments made to foster families include a housing element.
The plans will be a further blow to foster family incomes already hit by rising food, fuel and travel costs. Read More: