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The Impact of Welfare Reform in Middlesbrough Bridges of Hope - 3 rd October 2013 2.

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Presentation on theme: "The Impact of Welfare Reform in Middlesbrough Bridges of Hope - 3 rd October 2013 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Impact of Welfare Reform in Middlesbrough Bridges of Hope - 3 rd October

2 Around £380m lost to region as a result of changes to: Council Tax Benefit Benefits Cap Move from IB to ESA DLA change to PIP Size criteria for HB (‘bedroom tax’) With other changes – up to £940m 3

3 Resilience – a bleak picture. In November 2012, there were 7.5 Job Seeker Allowance claims for every unfilled job centre vacancy across the region (12/1 in Middlesbrough) Patterns of under occupation show issues of concentration and extent throughout the region (e.g. 410 households in Thorntree affected) BBC Experian Survey 2010 – 324 local authorities – Middlesbrough 324/324 – the LEAST resilient in the England 4

4 Under occupation Mismatch between housing availability and need: – Social housing stock in the NE is skewed towards family-sized units (75%+); the proportion of 1-bedroomed homes averages out at 22% (46,700 properties) (20% in Middlesbrough) – The actual number of 1-bedroomed properties that become available within a year stands at less than 6,500; compared to over 45,000 people registered on waiting lists for this property size;. 5

5 Under occupation and housing policy The features of the regional housing market make Middlesbrough particularly vulnerable to the changes proposed for social housing tenants Acknowledgement that not enough properties to accommodate relocations Leading to less saving on HB than anticipated Leading also to increased risk of empty properties and perverse allocation practices 6

6 Organisational challenges Considerable concern over new responsibilities: – Large numbers of people paying Council Tax for the first time – Administration of the Social Fund replacement (LAs) – Use of Discretionary Housing Payments For social landlords: – Increasing arrears – Changing allocation policies For all agencies – how to coordinate effective advice services to meet increased need 7

7 Concerns over size and complexity of changes Delivery and administrative changes: – Monthly payments – Direct payments – One payment per household – On-line Future administrative challenges 8

8 Council tax – a new primary debt and new payers. DHPs –criteria and spend Social fund replacement –criteria and spend “more stringent” systems – less resource available? Emerging issues 9

9 Increase in bids for 1 bed properties and increased terminations Issue of larger properties – implications for who they are let to or develop innovative schemes for their use Significant increase in demands for advicee and guidance – is this available? Emerging issues 10

10 Monitoring framework needed to track changes and adapt policies where possible (Northern Housing Consortium): – Economy, employment and social impacts – Housing – Discretionary Housing Payments, Social Fund and Council Tax Benefit – Advice and support – Impact on groups Recommendations 11

11 Increased activity for pay day loan companies – including illegal activity Larger numbers of food banks and charity activity Early confirmation of health issues becoming a factor Residents vulnerable to a range of pressures (multiplier effect) with little flexibility in local governance to mitigate them 12 Real concerns

12 Thank you for listening….. 13


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