homelessness prevention: preparing for changes to housing benefit

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Homelessness Prevention: Preparing for Changes to Housing Benefit. August 2010. Background. ...spending on housing benefit has risen from 14 billion ten years ago to 21 billion today. That is close to a 50% increase over and above inflation. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Homelessness Prevention:Preparing for Changes to Housing Benefit

    August 2010

  • Background...spending on housing benefit has risen from 14 billion ten years ago to 21 billion today. That is close to a 50% increase over and above inflation.

    Costs are completely out of control. We now spend more on housing benefit than we do on the police and on universities combined...

    ....it is clear that the system of housing benefit is in dire need for reform. We will do that by:Resetting and restricting Local Housing Allowances;Up-rating deductions;Reducing certain awardsRe-adjusting Support for Mortgage Interest paymentsLimiting social tenants entitlement to appropriately sized homes;And, lastly, we will for the first time introduce maximum limits on housing benefit from 280 a week for a one bedroom property to 400 a week for a four bedroom or larger

    George Osborne, 22 June 2010

  • Proposed Housing Benefit ReformCapping LHA rates at 250 p/w for a 1-bed property, 290 p/w for a 2-bed property, 340 p/w for a 3-bed property, and 400 p/w for all properties with 4-beds or more, from April 2011

    Up-rating non-dependent deductions to reflect increases in rent since 2001/02, in April 2011, and annually on the same basis

    Amending the size criteria to provide an extra bedroom for disabled claimants who have a non-resident carer, from April 2011

    Changing the basis for setting Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates from the median to the 30th percentile of local market rents, from October 2011

    Up-rating LHA rates by the Consumer Price Index, from April 2013

    Restricting housing benefit for working age social tenants who occupy a larger property than their family size warrants to a standard regional rate for a property of the appropriate size, from April 2013

    Restricting housing benefit to 90% of the full award after 12 months for claimants who are in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance, from April 2013

  • Mitigating Impacts of Housing Benefit Reform on Our CommunitiesThe government has announced increases in the national Discretionary Housing Payments budget by;

    10 million in 2011/1240 million in 2012/1340 million in 2013/14

    Local Authorities are encouraged to begin planning for the potential impacts of Housing Benefit reform - what can they do and what could the impacts look like at a local level?

  • West Midlands ImpactsFrom early indications the potential effects of the change from assessing LHA rates from the median to the 30th percentile could be:

    32% of claimants in the West Midlands region will lose between 10 and 15 per week. (excluding the 15 excess)

    Including the 15 access this figure rises to 52% of claimants

    Only 16% of current housing benefit claimants LHA rates will not be reduced by assessing rates at the 30th percentile in the West Midlands

    DO YOU KNOW ;

    How many households could be facing a reduction in LHA payments in your authority.

    How much each household could possibly lose.

    IF NOT WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO NOW?

  • Regional TablesImpact of measures coming into effect 2011-2012

    Estimate of number of losersAverage loss per loser, /week% of national losers figureNational936,960-12London159,370-2217North West130,900-1014South East123,000-1213Yorkshire and the Humber87,310-99South West83,180-109West Midlands80,140-109East of England70,970-108East Midlands58,680-106Scotland49,730-105Wales48,530-95North East45,160-95

  • Removal of 15 excess Distribution of losses

    Percentage (%) of LHA recipientsNot losingLosses of 0-5Losses of 5-10Losses of 10-15Losses of 15-20Losses of 20-30Losses of 30-40Losses of over 40East Midlands5787280000East of England5767300000London4855420000North East54109260000North West51108310000Scotland4959360000South East5247360000South West5679280000Wales6188230000West Midlands5278320000Yorkshire and Humber5988240000

  • 30th Percentile - Impacts

    Estimate of number of losersAverage loss per loser, /week% of national estimated losersNorth West114,180-715London113,330-1715South East96,300-912Yorkshire and the Humber78,280-710South West70,430-89West Midlands67,490-89East of England59,460-88East Midlands51,920-87Wales43,270-86Scotland40,420-75North East39,890-75National774,970-9

  • 30th Percentile - losses

    Percentage (%) of LHA recipientsNot losingLosses of 0-5Losses of 5-10Losses of 10-15Losses of 15-20Losses of 20-30Losses of 30-40Losses of over 40East Midlands122639176000East of England161741222200London295222131173North East121460140000North West132138262000Scotland211647121200South East22736295100South West151251201100Wales112543201000West Midlands161642251000Yorkshire and the Humber102050180000

  • Removal of 15 excess

    Estimate of number of losersAverage loss per loser, /week% of national losers estimateLondon82,640-13100North West64,580-1178South East58,650-1271West Midlands38,110-1146South West36,680-1144Yorkshire and the Humber35,710-1043East of England30,360-1137Scotland26,040-1232East Midlands25,620-1131North East20,650-1025Wales19,070-1023National438,130-11

  • Planning for ReformIt is important that homelessness and housing options services take the initiative in positioning themselves to respond at the earliest opportunity. Where it may be necessary to source alternative accommodation for households, maximise the potential to prevent homelessness by identifying and strategically targeting those affected before their accommodation becomes unsustainable.

    Identifying key partners and building or maintaining relationships now, is a further crucial aspect of delivering an effective response to significant changes to the Housing Benefits scheme in England.

  • Practical Ways ForwardProvide training for members and front line staff (including partner agencies) regarding the package of measures and the local response

    Talk to your Housing Benefit Department

    Talk to your local PRS landlords

    Talk to Housing Management and Partner RSLs

    Talk to Money Advice/Debt Counselling Services

    Talk to Job Centre Plus

    Talk to Tenants

    Work with Partners

    Share best practice!

  • Further InformationA full summary of the changes announced in the Budget on 22 June 2010 is given in the July issue of Housing Benefit Direct (Issue 103, July 2010):http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/issue-103-july-2010.pdf

    The Valuation Office Agency has published a table providing indicative figures showing how the planned changes announced on 22 June could affect Local Housing Allowance rates:http://www.voa.gov.uk/LHADirect/LHA-emergency-budget-news-2010.htm

    Further information is available from DWP, including excel tables outlining anticipated impacts of the proposed changes:http://www.dwp.gov.uk/local-authority-staff/housing-benefit/claims-processing/local-housing-allowance/impact-of-changes.shtml

    Directgov summary of the governments emergency budget in June:http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/Budget/Budget2010/DG_188506

  • Questions?

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