Bedroom Tax Mitigation to be made permanent in Northern Ireland

The current temporary additional support that some Northern Ireland tenants receive to help soften the impact of welfare reform is now going to be made permanent. This support helps people who would otherwise have faced cuts in the amount they receive to help with their housing costs due to the ‘bedroom tax’.

Under the bedroom tax, or spare room subsidy, people who receive welfare payments would have had their housing benefit reduced if they had one or more spare bedrooms.

People supported by the mitigation receive this in the form of a top-up payment. It had previously been due to end in March 2020 before being extended, and plans for a further extension were outlined in New Decade, New Approach at the start of 2020.

The announcement from Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities, confirms that legislation will make the additional support permanent, and will also close a loophole that means a tenant would no longer receive this payment if they move to a new property.

This is a very welcome development and brings some important security to tenants into the future.

Note that this announcement regarding the mitigation payment only applies to those living in Northern Ireland.

For free, impartial and confidential advice on what support your family may be entitled to, please call our Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008.