Hundreds of Southport social housing tenants may have to “downsize” to a new home or pay more rent as part of the dreaded bedroom tax.

Being phased in with the Government’s welfare reforms in April 2013, the Size Criteria will affect those of working age recipients of housing benefit whose homes are considered too big for their needs.

The change means one bedroom is permitted for a couple, a person aged 16 and over, two children of the same sex up to age 16, or two children under 10.

Those considered to have too many bedrooms for their needs will receive a 14 per cent reduction in their housing benefit.

A couple on benefit in a two-bedroom flat, with a son or daughter in the armed forces or at university will be penalised for having an extra bedroom.

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