welfare reform housing benefit changes almond neighbourhood partnership 27 february 2013 n.
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Welfare Reform Housing Benefit Changes Almond Neighbourhood Partnership 27 February 2013. Purpose of Update. Latest update on benefit changes Update on actions to inform tenants and help them plan for the change. Housing Benefit Under Occupation. Main Changes from April 2013

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Presentation Transcript
purpose of update
Purpose of Update
  • Latest update on benefit changes
  • Update on actions to inform tenants and help them plan for the change
housing benefit under occupation
Housing Benefit Under Occupation

Main Changes from April 2013

  • Affects working age tenants claiming Housing Benefit who have more bedrooms than the new rules say they need
  • Housing Benefit will be reduced by:

- 14% Total rent due - one extra bedroom

- 25% Total rent due - 2 or more extra bedrooms

current tenants hb under occupation as at early jan 13
Current Tenants – HB Under Occupation (as at early Jan 13)
  • 3,583 Council tenants on housing benefit identified as affected
  • 87% (3,114) of those affected – 14% reduction - one extra bedroom (£13 - £15 per week)
  • 13% (469) of those affected – 25% reduction - 2 or more extra bedrooms (£20 - £27 per week)
advice for starting a tenancy
Advice for Starting a Tenancy
  • The current Lettings Policy is unchanged – this still allows single people or couples to bid for two bedroom homes
  • Tenants will be made aware if they get HB, and they bid for a home that is bigger than the rules say, they will be expected to pay the difference
  • If they fall into rent arrears because they don’t pay the shortfall, they will face eviction and could lose their home
  • Tenants that are going to under occupy their home will be asked at tenancy sign up to sign a form indicating that they’re aware of the risk
advice for existing tenants
Advice for Existing Tenants
  • Local neighbourhoods are contacting all tenants identified as affected
  • Checking tenants’ current household circumstances - are they under occupying?
  • Support providers contacting those who are currently receiving support
  • Making tenants aware of the choices available and support available
choices for tenants that are under occupying
Choices for Tenants that are Under Occupying
  • Pay the shortfall between their rent and their HB
  • Increase their income/reduce outgoings
  • Have somebody move in
  • Apply for additional financial help (Discretionary Housing Payments)
  • Move to a smaller home
getting the message to tenants
Getting the Message to Tenants
  • Communications plan/strategy in place
  • Training and information for staff
  • Further general information Jan 13 rent statement
  • Postcards to council tenants affected – 7 February 2013
  • Benefits letter to affected council & RSL tenants from 11 February 13
  • Local open days/events being planned in neighbourhood offices
universal credit 1
Universal Credit(1)

Universal Credit will be launched in 2013 and will replace:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit
universal credit 2
Universal Credit (2)
  • Will be introduced on a phased basis from October 2013 (starting with new applicants)
  • Will be paid directly to the applicant
  • Will be capped at a weekly rate of £350 for a single applicant or £500 for couples or lone parent households
summary of the council s approach
Summary of the Council’s Approach
  • Responsibility to collect rent/service charges as this pays for services and supports investment in new and existing homes
  • Tenants responsibility to pay rent due – need to be fair to all tenants
  • Help tenants make an informed choice about their best option for the household
  • Overall aim is to help tenants remain in their homes and prevent homelessness
please contact me
Please contact me!

Karen Allan

 : 0131 529 6711

 : karen.allan@edinburgh.gsx.gov.uk

Thank you