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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Making it fit: a guide to preparing for the social size criteria


Making it fit: a guide to preparing for the social size criteria


The Welfare Reform Act 2012 represents the biggest change to social welfare in the last 60 years.

The changes planned will have a significant impact on social landlords and their tenants, with the ‘size criteria’ element of welfare reform posing a particular challenge for landlords who have working age tenants claiming housing benefit and living in homes which are larger than the legislation states that they need. The main aims of this measure are to:

  •  contain growing housing benefit expenditure and help reduce the budget deficit
  • encourage greater mobility within the social rented sector
  • strengthen work incentives among people of working age living in social rented housing
  • make better use of available social housing stock.

This guide is designed to help you to develop a strategic and operational approach to the size criteria, tailored to your local context. It includes analysis of the potential impact of the size criteria, useful checklists and practice examples of how other landlords are preparing for the changes.


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