The costs of housing benefit currently makes up more than a tenth of the UK Government's expenditure on welfare, with costs forecast to reach Ap25 billion by 2014-15. The Government's policy on under-occupation came into force in April 2013 and it is estimated that 40, 000 tenants in Wales will be affected; representing 46% of working age housing benefit claimants living in the social rented sector. This is the highest proportion of any region in Great Britain. There could therefore be a shortage of one and two bedroom homes in Wales to re-house everyone who wants to downsize. If local authorities are struggling to find alternative smaller accommodation for Government should undertake a speedy review of this policy. It is also increasingly urgent for the Welsh Government to continue with its house-building programme, with a particular focus on the building of smaller sized properties: obviously this is a long-term solution that would require additional resources. If no social housing is available, tenants may need to move to the private rented sector and private rental costs would need to be monitored. The costs of moving disabled households who require adaptations are also a concern. There may be a case for exempting disabled households from the policy. The Government's proposal to pay housing benefit direct to social tenants under Universal Credit may result in some tenants being unable to manage their rent payments. The Committee recommends that the Government provide for housing benefit to be paid direct to the landlords in certain circumstances, for example after a specified period of non-paymentOf course, as housing benefit and Universal Credit are both in and out of work benefits this may impact on an individuala#39;s ... housing professionals who have successfully influenced the amount of discretionary housing payments coming to Wales and facilitated meetings to ... (i) The Department for Work and Pensions have set up a Support and Exceptions Working Group (SEWG) with an aim to look at theanbsp;...
|Title||:||House of Commons - Welsh Affairs Committee: The Impact of Changes to Housing Benefit in Wales - HC 159|
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Welsh Affairs Committee|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2013-10-17|