One year on: The impact of welfare reforms on housing association tenants

Ipsos MORI research report looking at the impacts of welfare reform specifically from the tenant perspective.

27 May 2014

Part of the major research project carried out by Ipsos MORI on our behalf, this report assesses the impact of the bedroom tax and other welfare reform after one year. It is based on a nationally representative survey of working age tenants on Housing Benefit that have been affected by the size criteria together with a control sample of working age tenants on Housing Benefit not affected by the size criteria.

The survey found:

  • Tenants affected by the bedroom tax are nearly four times as likely to say that they have needed to borrow money to help pay the rent since 1st April 2013 (46%) as before 1st April 2013 (12%). Non-affected tenants are not significantly more likely to say that they have needed to borrow money to help pay their rent since 1st April 2013.
  • In response to being affected by the bedroom tax, tenants report spending less money on food (32%) and heating/energy (26%).
  • Tenants who are affected by the size criteria are considerably more likely than non-affected tenants to say that they are concerned (either very or fairly) with;
    - falling behind with the rent (76% vs 46%)
    - having enough income to cover all living costs and bills (89% vs 74%)
    - being evicted from their home (70% vs 53%)
    - having to move away from family and friends (73% vs 54%).

These results are supplemented with more detailed qualitative evidence from a series of in-depth interviews with tenants affected by the reforms.