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Housing Benefit Reform  2010/11 Budget changes  Universal Credit.

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Presentation on theme: "Housing Benefit Reform  2010/11 Budget changes  Universal Credit."— Presentation transcript:

1 Housing Benefit Reform  2010/11 Budget changes  Universal Credit

2 2011/12 Budget changes  Three phases  April 2011  January 2012  April 2013

3 Changes from April 2011  Capping maximum eligible rent levels  GB rates capped at higher levels than N Ireland (e.g. £250 for 1 bedroom property…. £400 for 4 bedroom property)  HB Rates capped at 4-bed rate for new claims (January 2012 for existing claims)  Provision of additional bedroom for non resident carer

4 Changes from April 2011  Numbers of Cases Affected by Capping  231 5-bed cases  45 6-bed cases  5 7-bed cases  Withdrawal of £15 maximum “excess” payment - 7000 cases affected.  Increase in DHP by 50% to £1.7m  Further increase to £3.4m in April 2012

5 Changes from April 2011  Change in calculation of Local Housing Allowance  Change from median value to 30 th percentile value  New claims from April 2011  Existing claims (47,000) receive transitional protection for 9 months after review date

6 Changes from January 2012  Transitional protection ends for existing LHA claims with earliest review dates  Shared Accommodation Rate – Change in age criteria from 25 to 35 (approx 6000 claims affected)  Exemptions:-  Rough Sleepers  Ex-offenders who pose a threat to public

7 Changes from April 2013  Restriction of HB awards for working-age claimants under occupying accommodation in social-rented sector.  Not yet clear on numbers affected  Implications for  Rent collection  Allocations policy  Adaptations policy

8 Changes from April 2013  Overall cap on benefits receivable for working age claimants  Will apply to claimants in all tenure groups  Proposed cap of £500 per week couples and single parents  Proposed cap of £350 for single claimants

9 Changes from April 2013  Exemptions for claimants on DLA, AA and War Widows pension  HB will be the benefit that will be reduced if the cap is exceeded

10 Changes from April 2013  Uprating of LHA rates in private sector at rate of Consumer Price Index  Potentially all 47,000 LHA claimants affected  Currently based on evidence gathered on market rents  May result in disparity with real market rents

11 Issues  More payable by those in greatest need particularly large families  Increase in DHP will not offset all reductions in HB but will create greater workload  Shortfalls in HB especially in private sector may lead to greater demand for social housing and higher levels of homelessness

12 Issues  Matching accommodation to family size  Location & political/religious issues  Requirement to establish under occupancy levels in social rented sector  Affects both NIHE & HA’s

13 Universal Credit  WELFARE THAT WORKS – WHITE PAPER  NI Welfare Reform Bill to be laid before NI Assembly during 2012  Likely to maintain parity with GB

14 Range and timing  Universal credit will bring together in a single payment income related benefits currently provided by SSA (JSA and ESA); all tax credits; and Housing Benefit for working age claimants  Housing Executive represented on a number of project boards examining how UC will operate in N. Ireland.

15 Range and timing  New claims for “out of work” benefits will be subject to UC (probably) from October 2013  New claims for “in work” benefits move to UC from April 2014  Pensioner claims moving to pension service from Oct 2014 to be assessed alongside Pension Credit  Existing claims will migrate to UC after Oct 2013 and will be completed by 2017

16 Assessments, awards and payments  First choice will be on line and telephone claims.  Implementation of UC dependant on development of two new IT systems.  One system to run Universal Credit  HMRC system to deliver real time earnings information  Number of issues identified with both systems

17 Assessments, awards and payments  Both members of a couple must claim UC but payment will be amalgamated and paid to one nominated bank account only.  Issues re split payments in problem situations not clear  Transitional protection at point of transfer

18 Assessments, awards and payments  UC will be paid monthly in arrears  Budgeting issues for vulnerable customers  Direct payments likely to cease for landlords  Definitely for private landlords  No decision yet for social landlords

19 Conditionality  Tougher conditions regarding entitlement to UC than HB  Tariffs will be imposed for non compliance with work related directives – could loose UC for up to 3 years.

20 Issues  Housing Executive currently deals with HB claims for both rent and rates in the private rented sector  Uncertainty how housing costs will be determined for working age claims– rent charges/interfaces  Housing costs paid via pension credit for pension claims

21 Issues  Current view is that rates will not be included in UC  A new system of providing help with rates may need to be established in NI

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