The number of people facing a reduction in housing benefit because of the bedroom tax has dropped by 14.7 per cent in Bradford, latest figures reveal.

Statistics for last November show 3,014 social housing tenants in Bradford had a reduction in their benefits because they were considered to be under-occupying their accommodation.

This figure was down from 3,533 in May 2013 – the first month statistics were available. Tenants are taking action, ranging from moving and using home swap services to finding work or increasing earnings. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “Reforming housing benefit was absolutely necessary to ensure we can maintain a strong safety net.

“The cost to the taxpayer grew by 50 per cent in just ten years to over £24 billion. We just could not ignore the problem and strong action was needed to reduce the deficit and safeguard our economy for the long term.

“Removing the spare room subsidy will help to turn the tide that saw around 300,000 households living in overcrowded homes in the social rented sector and 1.7m households on the waiting lists in England alone, while the taxpayer footed the bill for hundreds of thousands of spare rooms.”