Cumbria Law Centre, based in Carlisle, has reported a sharp rise in clients facing eviction from their homes. It has identified DWP's so-called 'under-occupancy charge' as a major factor in pushing these clients into rent arrears and debt which lead to eviction.
The 'Bedroom Tax' was introduced by the coalition government so as to push social tenants to move into properties of size appropriate to their needs. However, due to lack of smaller alternative properties as well as other reasons, tenants are unable to move away and have to absorb cuts to their benefits.
Help available from local authorities is not enough. As the Law Centre co-ordinator, Pete Moran, points out, "the discretionary housing payment is keeping the wolf from the door for a lot of people but it’s a temporary measure. The locally available funds for these payments will be less. Awareness of them will have increased so the available money will be stretched.”