- 8 updates
Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne has said that as the government's emergency fund runs out even more people will be pushed in to debt over the 'bedroom tax'.
Mr Byrne said: "It is very early days and that's why these figures are so shocking because the policy has only been in place five months one in three people are in debt.
"Now what's going to happen over the next few months is that the government's emergency fund is going run out, people's personal resources are going to run out and so this figure is only going to get worse."
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson has defended the spare room subsidy, as the 'bedroom tax' is official known, saying that it is fairer to those on housing benefit.
Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope, has said that the majority of those affected by the 'bedroom tax' are disabled who are 'falling in to debt to pay for essentials'.
TUC figures suggest one in three council tenants affect by the so-called bedroom tax have been tipped into rent arrears.
Since the reform was introduced in April, 50,000 households in 114 local council areas can no longer afford to pay for their accommodation - 31% of those affected, the False Economy group claimed.
The figures, obtained by the TUC-backed False Economy campaign using freedom of information requests, showed some parts of Britain suffering far more than others.
- Barrow: 75%
- Clackmannanshire: 67%
- Tamworth: 52%
- South Kesteven: 51%
- Rotherham: 50%
National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr - who will set out his criticisms in a speech to the Federation's conference - said:
Ministers say private sector renters do not get spare rooms for free, and argue the change will save around £500 million annually.
Tory chairman Grant Shapps previously wrote to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon demanding an apology after his special rapporteur on housing Raquel Rolnik said the reform was causing "great stress and anxiety" to "very vulnerable" people.
The National Housing Federation found that a quarter of tenants affected by the reform in 38 housing associations it questioned went into arrears for the first time between April and June.
Just over half (51%) of the 63,578 tenants of 51 housing associations were unable to meet their rent payments in the first months of the new system.
One in four households hit by the so-called "bedroom tax" has been pushed into rent arrears for the first time, the body representing housing associations said.
National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr said the figures underlined demands for the housing benefit cut to be scrapped to prevent families entering a "spiralling cycle of debt".
Under the Government's welfare reform, social tenants deemed to have more bedrooms than they need have had their housing benefit reduced.