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Should the Government give housing benefit based on the number of rented rooms claimants occupy?

Hundreds of Hartlepool families may be forced to leave their homes under Government plans to root-out “under-occupying” households.

Working-age people living in social rented housing which is seen as too large for their needs, may have to pack-up their belongings and leave, even if they have lived there for decades, if plans by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to slash housing benefit are given the go-ahead.

The measure would hit about 50,000 people across the North-East and possibly hundreds in Hartlepool and east Durham, with each claimant expected to lose about £13 a week if the measure is introduced in 2013.