The benefit cap – 100,000 – my apologies 200,000+ – social tenants evicted this year?

The benefit cap and the lot of the SOCIAL tenant

The overall benefit cap of £500pw for families and £350pw for single households goes nationwide in July 2013.  How many it will affect has always been a contentious issue as well as where and whom it will affect.

How many?  The original DWP estimate was 56,000 families yet two weeks ago the DWP and coalition spin machine was working overtime with a claim that it will now only affect 40,000. Yet when you consider that DWP has sent out letters to 88,840 households saying they will be affected this doesn’t ring true.

Add in the rise in unemployment and in rents since September 2012 as well as a further 19,000 or so HB claimants and that number is likely to have increased.

The Where? The breakdown by each local authority is below and there are some notable issues in this such as 47% of all those affected nationally, 41,950 in total, are in London.  Perhaps surprisingly, circa 20,000 of these are in inner London boroughs and 22,000 are in outer London boroughs.

However the real issue is that the homeless diaspora from London will happen as those affected will have little choice but to move out of the capital to lower rent areas with the only other option being to split up the families that will be affected.

THE BIGGEST ISSUE NATIONALLY 46% OF ALL THOSE AFFECTED ARE SOCIAL TENANTS. 

The London issue of high rents has been seen as the ONLY issue and even then it is often seen as merely a high private rent issue.  Yet this is and always has been nonsense and the impact and consequences have been given very scant regard by social landlords who have taken the blasé and ignorant approach of rent is only £80pw it won’t affect us!  They couldn’t be more wrong!

Using the 88,840 figure this 46% element gives 40,866 social tenant households who will be affected and as the average reduction is £93 pw nationally and average social housing HB nationally is £81pw then 40,866 social tenants will no longer get a penny in HB with a certainty of eviction.  The average £14 pw bedroom tax cut pales into insignificance when compared with the overall benefit cap or OBC and especially in terms of financial risk to the social landlord.

40,866 tenant households = more than 100,000 men woman and children!

UPDATE APRIL 30th – HOW REMISS OF ME READER IT IS OVER 200,000.

GIVEN THAT THE SOCIAL TENANT HOUSEHOLDS TO BE EVICTED WILL BE THOSE WITH 4 OR MORE CHILDREN THIS MEANS AN AVERAGE OF AT LEAST PERSONS PER HOUSEHOLD WHICH AT 40,886 HOUSEHOLDS IS OVER 200,000 MEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN!!

The social landlord has fears that the bedroom tax tenant may not pay the shortfall and the argument there in practical terms is landlords sorting out can’t payers from won’t payers – not an easy task at all.  Yet the OBC tenants are all cant payers and there are 40,866 of them leaving the landlord little choice but to evict on arrears grounds and very quickly too.  Throw into the mix that the all-in costs of eviction are estimated to be circa £8k and we see a £327m first year financial risk or equivalent to almost 70% of the entire bedroom tax risk.  Yet even if 70% of bedroom tax affected tenants don’t pay a penny the eviction costs and financial risk to landlords will still be less there as it will take much longer to evict the bedroom tax tenant who is only building up a £14 pw arrear.

Then as the OBC risk increases each year as rents rise faster than the cap or welfare benefit figures and the systemic flaw comes into play and each year more and more social tenants get caught by this crude cap which of course translates into a bigger financial risk of arrears year on year to the social landlord.

As the only way for landlords to increase income is to increase rents then the OBC puts pressure on rent setting as increasing rent means more social tenants get caught by the cap, which will mean that social landlords have to reduce services and just at the time the tenant takes control of rent payment with direct payments coming in!

Anyone who says that the ‘welfare reforms’ are not an attack on social housing per se wants their bumps read!

My real concern is that the social landlord has been so blasé about the OBC and the ineptitude we have seen by social landlords over the introduction of the bedroom tax will be repeated with the OBC because of this blasé attitude.  The heavy-handedness of swift arrears actions with the bedroom tax – which saw many landlords sending out payment demands before the bedroom tax came into effect – mostly to prevent cant payers becoming wont payers is not a tactic that can be used with the OBC tenant as they are all cant payers such is the severity of the cut.

Yet the biggest concern of the lot is where large families will live.

If they are evicted from the cheapest rented housing, that is social housing, then where are they to go to from the temporary homeless accommodation they will have to be offered?  If they can’t be moved-on and into social housing then they must remain in high cost temporary B&B’s until they get a job.

The equation is a simple but stark one and is large family = get employment or else.

That equation gets even starker as it also means if a large family lose a job then they will be evicted and very quickly end up in a high cost dingy B&B.

 

It’s about time the social landlord woke up to the huge financial risk that the OBC will cause. 

The breakdown of the DWP letters sent by LA is below.

Mail shot exercise

Local Authority

May-12

Jul-12

Sep-12

Total contacted

Rank

Brent

2,840

440

380

3,660

1

Westminster

2,800

340

240

3,380

2

Enfield

2,140

460

330

2,940

3

Ealing

1,860

340

230

2,430

4

Tower Hamlets

1,400

510

310

2,220

5

Newham

1,700

250

210

2,160

6

Birmingham

1,520

310

300

2,130

7

Barnet

1,140

340

190

1,670

8

Hackney

1,250

220

170

1,630

9

Haringey

1,200

230

200

1,630

10

Redbridge

1,070

160

140

1,370

11

Kensington and Chelsea

1,080

190

90

1,360

12

Croydon

970

190

170

1,340

13

Wandsworth

960

160

140

1,260

14

Camden

930

170

140

1,230

15

Barking and Dagenham

890

190

140

1,220

16

Islington

940

160

130

1,220

17

Waltham Forest

870

150

130

1,150

18

Lewisham

820

160

150

1,140

19

Hammersmith and Fulham

840

130

90

1,070

20

Lambeth

750

130

120

1,000

21

Harrow

730

140

100

970

22

Hillingdon

740

130

100

970

23

Manchester

640

160

140

930

24

Hounslow

670

130

100

900

25

Edinburgh, City of

510

210

130

840

26

Leeds

510

130

110

750

27

Greenwich

510

100

90

700

28

Bristol, City of

490

100

110

690

29

Southwark

500

90

100

680

30

Leicester

440

120

100

660

31

Bradford

440

110

110

650

32

Glasgow City

430

130

100

650

33

Cardiff

370

110

90

560

34

Slough

380

70

70

510

35

Bromley

360

70

70

500

36

Sheffield

310

100

100

500

37

Havering

350

70

70

490

38

Liverpool

350

80

70

490

39

Bexley

330

80

70

470

40

Luton

330

60

70

460

41

Nottingham

270

110

80

460

42

Sandwell

340

70

60

460

43

Brighton and Hove

300

80

60

440

44

Coventry

300

60

70

430

45

Walsall

290

70

70

430

46

Wolverhampton

290

70

60

430

47

Cornwall

250

70

80

400

48

County Durham

250

80

60

400

49

Milton Keynes

270

50

60

390

50

Medway

250

70

60

380

51

Merton

270

60

50

380

52

Wirral

250

60

50

350

53

Bolton

230

60

50

340

54

Blackpool

220

60

50

330

55

Southend-on-Sea

240

50

40

330

56

Derby

200

50

70

320

57

Reading

220

50

50

320

58

Southampton

210

40

60

320

59

Portsmouth

200

60

50

310

60

Kingston upon Thames

200

50

40

300

61

Kirklees

200

50

50

300

62

Oxford

220

40

40

300

63

Basildon

190

60

30

290

64

Fife

190

60

30

280

65

Kingston upon Hull, City of

190

40

50

280

66

Newcastle upon Tyne

190

50

40

280

67

Peterborough

170

50

60

280

68

Stoke-on-Trent

190

50

40

280

69

Sunderland

190

40

50

280

70

Sutton

210

30

40

280

71

Tendring

200

50

40

280

72

West Dunbartonshire

180

70

30

280

73

Dudley

190

50

40

270

74

Oldham

170

40

40

260

75

Salford

170

50

40

260

76

Aberdeen City

90

110

40

250

77

Bournemouth

170

40

40

250

78

Middlesbrough

160

40

40

240

79

North Ayrshire

150

60

30

240

80

Northampton

160

40

40

240

81

Rochdale

180

30

30

240

82

Rotherham

150

40

50

230

83

Plymouth

150

30

40

220

84

Richmond upon Thames

150

30

30

220

85

Tameside

140

40

30

220

86

Telford and Wrekin

170

30

20

220

87

Thurrock

170

30

30

220

88

Wakefield

130

30

50

220

89

Bedford

140

40

30

210

90

Doncaster

120

50

40

210

91

Rhondda, Cynon, Taff

150

40

30

210

92

South Lanarkshire

130

30

40

210

93

Dundee City

120

50

30

200

94

Newport

120

40

40

200

95

Stockton-on-Tees

130

40

30

200

96

Thanet

130

30

40

200

97

Wiltshire

130

30

50

200

98

Colchester

130

30

30

190

99

Wigan

130

40

30

190

100

Blackburn with Darwen

130

30

30

180

101

Calderdale

130

20

30

180

102

Cheshire West and Chester

130

30

30

180

103

Crawley

120

30

20

180

104

North East Lincolnshire

130

30

20

180

105

Sefton

130

30

30

180

106

Swale

120

20

40

180

107

Knowsley

110

40

30

170

108

North Lanarkshire

120

20

20

170

109

North Somerset

120

30

30

170

110

Northumberland

110

30

30

170

111

Poole

110

30

30

170

112

St. Helens

110

30

30

170

113

Swindon

110

40

30

170

114

Caerphilly

110

30

20

160

115

Central Bedfordshire

110

30

20

160

116

Hartlepool

100

40

20

160

117

Hastings

120

30

10

160

118

South Gloucestershire

120

30

20

160

119

Stockport

110

30

20

160

120

Wycombe

110

20

30

160

121

Barnsley

100

20

30

150

122

Broxbourne

110

20

10

150

123

Cheshire East

110

30

20

150

124

Clackmannanshire

90

40

20

150

125

Halton

100

30

20

150

126

Havant

110

20

20

150

127

Norwich

90

30

30

150

128

Swansea

100

20

30

150

129

Trafford

100

30

20

150

130

Arun

90

30

20

140

131

Chelmsford

90

30

20

140

132

Dacorum

90

30

20

140

133

Gloucester

90

30

20

140

134

Ipswich

80

30

30

140

135

Shepway

100

10

20

140

136

Spelthorne

100

20

20

140

137

Torbay

90

30

20

140

138

Canterbury

80

30

30

130

139

Epping Forest

100

20

20

130

140

Gravesham

80

20

30

130

141

Neath Port Talbot

80

30

20

130

142

Redcar and Cleveland

90

20

20

130

143

Renfrewshire

80

30

20

130

144

Shropshire

90

30

20

130

145

Solihull

90

20

20

130

146

Basingstoke and Deane

70

20

20

120

147

Bridgend

80

20

30

120

148

Carmarthenshire

80

20

20

120

149

Eastbourne

90

20

20

120

150

Gateshead

90

20

20

120

151

Harlow

80

20

10

120

152

North Tyneside

70

20

20

120

153

Watford

90

10

20

120

154

Aberdeenshire

70

30

20

110

155

Ashford

70

20

20

110

156

Braintree

70

20

10

110

157

Bury

70

20

20

110

158

Dover

70

20

20

110

159

East Riding of Yorkshire

70

20

20

110

160

Elmbridge

80

20

20

110

161

Flintshire

60

20

30

110

162

Gosport

60

30

20

110

163

Great Yarmouth

60

20

20

110

164

Guildford

70

20

20

110

165

Hertsmere

70

30

20

110

166

Highland

70

30

10

110

167

Lewes

70

20

30

110

168

Maidstone

80

20

10

110

169

Reigate and Banstead

70

20

20

110

170

The Vale of Glamorgan

60

30

20

110

171

West Berkshire

70

20

20

110

172

West Lothian

80

10

20

110

173

Windsor and Maidenhead

70

20

20

110

174

Woking

80

20

20

110

175

Castle Point

70

20

20

100

176

Isle of Wight

70

20

10

100

177

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

70

10

20

100

178

Midlothian

70

20

10

100

179

New Forest

60

20

20

100

180

North Lincolnshire

60

20

20

100

181

Nuneaton and Bedworth

60

20

20

100

182

Preston

80

20

10

100

183

South Somerset

60

20

20

100

184

South Tyneside

60

20

20

100

185

Warrington

70

20

10

100

186

Amber Valley

60

20

20

90

187

Ashfield

60

20

10

90

188

Bracknell Forest

60

20

10

90

189

Burnley

70

20

10

90

190

Darlington

60

20

20

90

191

Denbighshire

70

10

10

90

192

East Lindsey

60

20

10

90

193

Erewash

60

20

20

90

194

Exeter

50

20

20

90

195

Mansfield

50

20

10

90

196

Perth & Kinross

60

30

10

90

197

Wrexham

70

20

10

90

198

Aylesbury Vale

60

20

10

80

199

Blaenau Gwent

50

10

10

80

200

Cheltenham

60

10

10

80

201

Cherwell

60

10

20

80

202

Conwy

60

10

10

80

203

Dartford

50

10

20

80

204

Falkirk

50

20

10

80

205

Fenland

50

10

10

80

206

Herefordshire, County of

60

20

10

80

207

Huntingdonshire

50

10

10

80

208

Hyndburn

60

10

80

209

Lancaster

60

10

10

80

210

Stevenage

50

10

20

80

211

Three Rivers

60

10

10

80

212

Tonbridge and Malling

50

20

20

80

213

Tunbridge Wells

60

10

10

80

214

Waveney

50

20

10

80

215

Welwyn Hatfield

50

10

10

80

216

Wokingham

50

20

20

80

217

Worcester

50

20

10

80

218

Worthing

50

20

10

80

219

York

60

20

10

80

220

Bath and North East Somerset

50

10

10

70

221

Breckland

50

10

10

70

222

Cambridge

40

20

10

70

223

Charnwood

40

20

10

70

224

Chesterfield

40

10

20

70

225

Chichester

40

10

20

70

226

East Ayrshire

50

10

20

70

227

East Hertfordshire

50

10

10

70

228

Eastleigh

50

10

10

70

229

Epsom and Ewell

40

10

10

70

230

Mid Sussex

40

20

10

70

231

North Hertfordshire

50

10

10

70

232

Rushmoor

50

10

10

70

233

Scarborough

50

10

10

70

234

Sedgemoor

50

10

10

70

235

Sevenoaks

40

10

10

70

236

South Ayrshire

40

10

20

70

237

South Oxfordshire

50

20

10

70

238

St Albans

50

10

10

70

239

Torfaen

50

10

10

70

240

Vale of White Horse

50

10

20

70

241

Waverley

40

20

10

70

242

Wealden

40

10

20

70

243

Wellingborough

50

10

10

70

244

Wychavon

40

10

10

70

245

Cannock Chase

40

10

10

60

246

Corby

30

10

10

60

247

Dumfries & Galloway

40

10

10

60

248

East Dunbartonshire

30

10

10

60

249

East Lothian

40

10

10

60

250

East Staffordshire

40

10

10

60

251

Gedling

40

10

10

60

252

Horsham

40

10

20

60

253

Kettering

40

10

10

60

254

Lincoln

40

10

10

60

255

Merthyr Tydfil

40

10

10

60

256

Newark and Sherwood

40

20

60

257

Newcastle-under-Lyme

40

10

10

60

258

North Devon

40

10

10

60

259

Pembrokeshire

40

20

10

60

260

Pendle

40

10

10

60

261

Redditch

40

10

10

60

262

Rother

40

10

10

60

263

Scottish Borders

30

10

10

60

264

Tamworth

40

10

10

60

265

Taunton Deane

30

20

20

60

266

Warwick

40

10

10

60

267

West Lancashire

40

10

10

60

268

Weymouth and Portland

40

10

10

60

269

Wyre

30

10

20

60

270

Wyre Forest

40

10

10

60

271

Adur

30

10

10

50

272

Angus

30

10

10

50

273

Bassetlaw

30

10

10

50

274

Bolsover

30

10

10

50

275

Broxtowe

30

20

10

50

276

Carlisle

30

10

10

50

277

Chorley

30

10

10

50

278

East Hampshire

30

10

10

50

279

Forest of Dean

30

10

10

50

280

Gwynedd

30

10

10

50

281

Isle of Anglesey

40

10

10

50

282

Monmouthshire

30

20

10

50

283

North West Leicestershire

30

10

10

50

284

Powys

30

10

10

50

285

Rochford

30

10

10

50

286

Rugby

30

10

10

50

287

South Cambridgeshire

40

10

10

50

288

South Kesteven

30

10

10

50

289

South Norfolk

30

10

10

50

290

St Edmundsbury

30

10

10

50

291

Stafford

30

10

10

50

292

Stroud

30

10

10

50

293

Tandridge

40

10

10

50

294

Teignbridge

40

10

10

50

295

Test Valley

30

10

10

50

296

West Dorset

30

10

10

50

297

West Lindsey

30

10

10

50

298

Winchester

30

10

10

50

299

Allerdale

30

10

10

40

300

Babergh

30

10

10

40

301

Barrow-in-Furness

20

10

10

40

302

Blaby

20

10

10

40

303

Brentwood

30

10

40

304

Ceredigion

20

10

10

40

305

East Devon

20

10

10

40

306

East Dorset

30

10

10

40

307

Fareham

30

10

10

40

308

Hinckley and Bosworth

30

10

10

40

309

Inverclyde

30

10

40

310

Lichfield

30

10

10

40

311

Maldon

30

10

10

40

312

Malvern Hills

20

10

10

40

313

Mendip

30

10

10

40

314

Mid Devon

30

40

315

Mid Suffolk

30

10

10

40

316

Mole Valley

30

10

10

40

317

North Norfolk

20

10

40

318

Rossendale

30

10

40

319

Runnymede

40

10

40

320

South Bucks

30

10

10

40

321

South Holland

20

10

10

40

322

South Ribble

20

10

10

40

323

Stirling

40

40

324

Suffolk Coastal

30

10

40

325

Surrey Heath

30

10

10

40

326

West Oxfordshire

20

20

40

327

Argyll & Bute

20

10

30

328

Boston

20

10

10

30

329

Broadland

20

30

330

Bromsgrove

20

10

30

331

Chiltern

20

10

30

332

Christchurch

20

10

30

333

Cotswold

20

10

30

334

Daventry

20

30

335

East Cambridgeshire

20

30

336

East Northamptonshire

20

10

30

337

East Renfrewshire

20

10

10

30

338

Forest Heath

30

30

339

Fylde

30

10

30

340

Hambleton

20

10

10

30

341

Harrogate

20

30

342

Hart

20

10

30

343

North Dorset

20

10

30

344

North East Derbyshire

20

10

30

345

North Kesteven

20

10

30

346

North Warwickshire

20

10

10

30

347

Purbeck

20

10

30

348

Rushcliffe

20

10

30

349

South Derbyshire

30

30

350

South Hams

20

30

351

South Staffordshire

20

10

10

30

352

Staffordshire Moorlands

20

10

30

353

Stratford-on-Avon

20

10

10

30

354

Tewkesbury

20

10

30

355

Torridge

20

10

10

30

356

Uttlesford

20

30

357

Copeland

10

20

358

Derbyshire Dales

10

20

359

Harborough

20

10

20

360

High Peak

10

10

20

361

Melton

10

20

362

Moray

10

20

363

Oadby and Wigston

10

20

364

Selby

10

10

20

365

South Northamptonshire

10

10

20

366

West Devon

10

20

367

City of London

10

10

368

Craven

10

10

369

Eden

10

10

370

Eilean Siar

10

371

Ribble Valley

10

10

372

Richmondshire

10

10

373

Ryedale

10

10

374

South Lakeland

10

375

West Somerset

10

10

376

Orkney Islands

377

Rutland

378

Shetland Islands

379

88,840

Notes:

1) Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.  Totals may not sum due to rounding.

2) The data used to identify individuals at risk from the benefit cap is out of date as it is collected in the months before the letters were sent by DWP. The degree of data lag varies from 4 months for HMRC data to two weeks for some DWP benefit data.

3) Data limitations mean we are not able to identify customers in receipt of War Widows / Widowers Pensions or customers who have been in work in the previous 12 months. For these reasons, some households may have been contacted who may not be affected by the benefit cap.

4) All households with a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claim should be excluded from the benefit cap. This was the case with the May 2012 and July 2012 scan but the September 2012 scan also excluded those households with a nil DLA claim as a result of a stay in hospital or a care home.

5) While the May and July 2012 scans did not exclude Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFC) or War Disablement Pension (WP) individuals, AFC and WP individuals were excluded from the September 2012 scan. However, data limitations mean that some AFC or WP individuals may have still have been contacted from this scan.

6) The table shows the number of households contacted initially in the April mail shot and new households contacted in the two subsequent mail shots started in July and September. A household is designated as new even if individuals from the household have appeared previously in a different household.

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14 thoughts on “The benefit cap – 100,000 – my apologies 200,000+ – social tenants evicted this year?

  1. That is just so sad. And then when these people are left out in the cold, children will end up in care and the adults will become amongst the forgotten. I spoke to a homeless guy today, been so since September 2012. Housing will not add him to list because he is not originally from the area, he came he to work and when he lost job he lost his home. He wasnt drunk and clearly wasnt a drug user either, (it is common homeless people to be said to fit into one of those groups.) In fact this guy who cannot walk very well aswell as other health issues, He carries a small bin with him and where ever he finds himself sleeping he clears area of any needles he may find and takes them to an appropriate place to be disposed of. He told me how one of his nephews was once injured from a dirty needle at a park when him and a friend had found them and were playing sword fighting with them. So he is keen to ensure no other child is hurt. It is awful that any person should end up on the streets. and now things are just going to get worse. He cannot afford to get back to where he came from either to register there on housing. And now so many more are going to be joining this guy and with evictions based on rent arrears, even if this horrible situation changes and the light is finally seen. I believe there chances of being rehoused in the future will be very low. What century are we living in someone please tell me.

  2. My god it just gets worse by the day, evictions OBC, evictions bedroom tax.
    No doubt there will be evictions with UC, imagine being sanctioned for 6mths or 3yrs.
    Currently if sanctioned housing benefit element is not stopped, but will be stopped, when sanctioned under UC.

  3. Has there been a national campaign by Council’s to get people to claim DHP so they don’t appeal? And then take a month or more to make a decision (i.e. after 1st May 2013) Meaning that it is then too late for people to appeal to their council about the bedroom tax?

  4. Can anyone correct me if i am wrong re my previous posting, housing benefit element stopped if sanctioned under Universal Credit

  5. There is no point in waiting for a DHP decision. Not many are getting awarded it anyway…And you can’t appeal.. but can ask them to re-consider. But make sure you ask your council for a copy of their DHP policy… DO the appeal process at the SAME time.
    What concerns me greatly is the councils are using DLA as income. Which is outrageous. But they seem to be getting away with it.
    And don’t forget there is also council tax to pay!! Find out about your councils tax reduction scheme.
    I don’t know many people who have yet had a reply to the first letter. yet. Hopefully, that’s a good thing!! And means they are swamped!!

  6. @pat. There is currently a zero income HB determination which means if the gov stops everything for what ever reason you become eligible for full HB (although less the bedroom tax now) however some councils are, shall we say, awkward in how they handle zero income awards because they worry that should another determination (dwp) be made that is back dated to the time a zero award HB was in effect then they can find it difficult to get this back, although they do have the option of claw back by underpaying HB which the claimant will then have to find to pay directly to the HA.

    I would like to think that the new UC works in the “best case” way above, zero income = full HB – BT… however this is probably one of the many hundreds of different “not accounted for” tests that are not being tested in the single pilot test run. So god knows how it would work, or even if it can work or if no one thought about how to code it, so didn’t.

    However even if it did perform the task in the same way as the current system there is one glaring problem… at the moment you can go into the council and say “you’re clawing back a lot in big chunks, can you possibly spread them over a few more months” and often they will (to a limit) but with UC who/where/how/can you even? Probably it will be computer says “no, the amount is formulated at X for Y over Z and we can’t change it” and you will eventually find this out after being on the phone for 40 mins, having pressed 1 for crap, 2 for more useless options hundreds of times, then waiting while Greensleeves plays for 20 mins, then a low level script reader will go through a number of questions, realise he can’t help, put you back on hold, eventually a higher up will read their script and tell you “computer says no…”

    Government… don’t you love it, a simplification that is more complex than the original method, will cost more,and won’t work as intended… a bit like the OBC when the additional costs of alternate emergency accommodation is factored in for everyone kicked out of their current housing.

  7. @Debbie, I’m sure Joe has a better understanding than myself, but from what I can recall the legislation is deliberately “fuzzy” in that it uses words such “may” “can” and so on… instead of clearly defined terms… eg. The council “may” take into account of things such as DLA, but “may” give regard to how DLA “might” be used already by the claimant…

    So basically its down to the the individual council and their policy, which they might have documented or it might be made on an as and when basis with no defined and documented policy… basically making it up as they go along.

    1. My take on this is that because a DHP is discretionary that it is up to each council to decide what or what not to take into consideration as income. Hence there appears no hard and fast or definitive position on whether DLA should be included as income which tends to apply in other cases which are NOT discretionary. DHP guidance is just that guidance and it is essentially up to each local council to decide for themselves what to consider

  8. So, basically they can do what they like then!!
    It’s not just DHP decisions they are using DLA as income.
    It’s ALSO for paying the Housing Benefit shortfall (Bedroom Tax).
    And for paying the council tax.
    It, go’s against everything you are awarded DLA for.
    Your care and mobility.
    Which means you will have less to pay for that.
    It’s happening just about everywhere, up and down the country.
    And could have serious repercussions.
    There is also, no protection for people with Mental Health issues.

  9. I sent a detailed letter with ten questions, to Leeds City Council. Their reply answered just one of these (the first one), which was about Social Landlords (including Council landlords), to refer claims to the Rent Officer service.

    Leeds Council state that: ‘I can confirm that if the landlord is a registered Housing Association, the housing benefit regulations, which are set by the DWP, allow us to refer the rent to the rent officer if we consider the rent payable for the property to be unreasonably high.’ (Correct so far).

    They then go on to state that ‘However, this provision [ for landlords to refer to the Rent Officer ] is not applicable in your case because you are a council tenant and council rents are not referred to the rent officer’.

    So, in effect they are saying that Council tenancies are somehow exempt from the RSL element of the regulations, but that Housing Associations are covered by the regulations.

    Although I have already submitted my appeal, I have answered the council’s letter by re-iterating the Housing Benefit Guidance Manual [HBGM] regulations that Joe H has alerted us all to. The regs on pages 55/56 of the HBGM :-

    i) at section A4 4.1440 ‘ you only need to refer RSL rents to the rent officer if you consider that the ….. accommodation is larger than is reasonably needed by the claimant’ ‘In these cases you must have regard to all the circumstances and housing options available to the individual household.’

    ii) and at section A4 4.1441 ’If a tenancy of an RSL is referred to the rent officer because the accommodation is too large…’

    It must be obvious that, if the council are saying I am ‘under-occupying’ then they must think that my accommodation is – to quote the regs – ‘unreasonably large’ or ‘too large’.

    Clearly, Leeds council are not reading the regulations, so I have printed the relevant part, highlighted it with yellow marker, and posted this to them along with my letter!!

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