A housing association in Liverpool says it could take up to seven years to find new homes for people unable to pay a new government tax on spare bedrooms.
The under-occupation measure comes into force in April and will see social housing tenants have their housing benefit cut by 14% for one room, and 25% for two.
Those who cannot afford the shortfall will be asked to downsize in order to reduce the number of people on housing waiting lists.
Angela Forshaw, Director of Liverpool Mutual Homes, says that process could be long and complex.
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Greater Manchester Police said "inquiries are ongoing to fully understand the circumstances of the incident."