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Housing body: benefit changes are causing 'real misery'

1 July 2013 Last updated at 15:30 BST

The National Housing Federation says the effects housing benefit changes, which make tenants pay for unused rooms, are "much worse than anticipated."

The spare room subsidy, dubbed the "bedroom tax," has led to big increases in rent and some properties being left empty because tenants cannot afford to move into them.

David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, told BBC Radio 5 live's Breakfast, "We now have some housing associations who are training their frontline staff in dealing with people who are suicidal... this is causing real misery for hundreds of thousands of people."

In a statement, the Department for Work and Pensions said, "This reform will save hard working taxpayers almost £1 billion over the next two years and will help restore fairness to our housing benefit system."

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