Skip to main content

Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL7814, tabled on 14 May 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they have saved in housing benefit payments in each year since the introduction of the under occupancy charge as a result of the introduction of the charge; how many extra units of accommodation have been made available in each of those years as a result of that charge; and how many tenants have opted to continue occupying accommodation subject to the charge.

Answered on

23 May 2018

The removal of the spare room subsidy (RSRS) policy has saved over £1.5 billion since its introduction in April 2013. Information on the number of households subject to a RSRS deduction and average deduction amounts is available via the DWP Stat Xplore website:

Guidance for users is available at:

Deductions figures do not take into account any additional savings due to behavioural change before/after the policy has been introduced, for example moving to a smaller property to avoid a deduction.

Information on extra units of accommodation made available due to the introduction of the policy is not currently available. However, the decline in the number of households subject to a deduction evident in the data on DWP Stat Xplore suggests that many people have been able to find alternative accommodation of a more suitable size.

The DWP provided £54 million in Discretionary Housing Payments to local authorities in England and Wales in 2017/18 to provide support for vulnerable people affected by the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy policy.


  1. Figures on Stat Xplore do not include claimants on Universal Credit (UC) with a removal of the spare room subsidy (RSRS) deduction, as this data is not currently available.
  1. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has been looking at the savings realised from the RSRS policy and may publish something in future.