Confirmed Housing Benefit Changes 2011 To 2013

Confirmed Housing Benefit Changes 2011 To 2013

Date Published 23 February 2011

Kingstons attended the Welsh Assembly - Landlords Conference of Feb 2011. At the conference the new implications of the changes of the Housing Benefit System was discussed. The list below is the confirmed changes that will come into play within the next 3 years.

It appears that central government will try to effect market forces and add increased pressure to Landlords, to bear the cost of the changes. The Government are expected to part incentivise with the promise of direct rent payments on the condition that rents on properties are to be reduced.

Omar Moulani – Director of Kingstons discussed with Karl Thomas (Head of Rent Officers Wales), stated that Landlords in the current climate will be forced to refuse Tenants on Housing Benefit, due to the unreliability of rental payments and references.

The temporary incentive of direct payment would have migrated the risk involved of renting to benefit tenants, but would be deemed unfair for Landlords to expect to lower rent, just to attain this.

The knock on effect will increase social tenants being referred to temporary accommodation – This will cost local authorities 2-3 times the cost of average rents. Seems to us that the central government – have not thought this through.

April 2011

Housing benefit claimants with a disability and a non resident carer will be entitled to funding for an extra bedroom.

Local housing allowance rates will be capped at
£250 per week for a one bedroom property,
£290 per week for a two bedroom property,
£340 per week for a three bedroom property
£400 per week for four bedrooms or more
4 bedroom rate will be maximum LHA band (no 5+ bedroom rates)

The £15 weekly excess that some customers can receive under the local housing allowance arrangements will be removed.

Deductions for non-dependents will be increased on the basis of prices. This will reverse the freeze ¡n these rates since 2001-02.

The Government contribution to discretionary housing payments will be increased by £10 million

Local housing allowance rates will be set at the 30th percentile of local rents for new claimants.

Transitional protection for existing customers of up to 9 months following their claim review date (apart from the LHA excess provision which will be removed when claims are reviewed)

April 2012

The Government contribution to discretionary housing payments will be increased by £40 million in each year from 2012-13

Single room rent restrictions extended to all those who are single and under 35

April 2013

A new £500 per week for couple and lone parent households and around £350 per week for single adult households on welfare benefits will apply to combined income derived from benefits including jobseekers allowance, income support, employment support allowance, housing and council tax benefits, child benefit, and carers allowance.

Local housing allowance rates will be increased in line with consumer price index.

Housing Benefit entitlements for working age people in the social sector will reflect family size.

Oct 2013 Commencement of National roll out of universal credit.