Figures obtained from the Council by Edinburgh Conservatives show that around 5,000 of the 25,000 applicants for social housing in the city classed themselves as overcrowded.
The 5,000 applicants for more space compares with 6,500 Council and housing association tenants in receipt of housing benefit who are classed as under occupying their home. In other words, the number of people under occupying social housing and in receipt of housing benefit is greater than the number of people currently looking for larger accommodation.
Until now, around 500 one bedroom Edinburgh Council properties come up for rent every year. So there has been limited opportunity for under occupiers to downsize. However, the new welfare reform rules on under occupancy, which came into operation on 1st April, will create some more movement, enabling more people to have their application for a larger house met.
Cllr Cameron Rose
1. The number of Council and housing association tenants affected is contained in paragraph 2.10 of this report to Edinburgh Council's Policy and Strategy Committee on 4.12.12.
2. In February 2013, there were 25,385 outstanding applications on EdIndex which where people wishing housing association or Council housing can apply. Of these just under 5,000 of the applicants indicated on their application form that they are overcrowded or require at least one more bedroom. These applicants are a mix of Council, housing association or private tenants, owner occupiers, or 'homeless' households.
3. The number of current tenants to whom the under occupancy rules apply has been slightly revised downwards from 6,500 at the time of the December Report to 6,300 (a downwards revision of 5%) at the end of January 2013.
4. Recent UK government guidance can be seen here.