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The National Homelessness Conference 2012 Caroline O’Toole & Stephen Neill Whiteinch & Scotstoun Housing Association Rent Arrears, Homeless Prevention.

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Presentation on theme: "The National Homelessness Conference 2012 Caroline O’Toole & Stephen Neill Whiteinch & Scotstoun Housing Association Rent Arrears, Homeless Prevention."— Presentation transcript:

1 The National Homelessness Conference 2012 Caroline O’Toole & Stephen Neill Whiteinch & Scotstoun Housing Association Rent Arrears, Homeless Prevention & Welfare Reform

2  Housing Benefit & Under-Occupation (April 2013)  Replacement of Social Fund (April 2013)  Replacement of Disability Living Allowance (Personal Independence Payments- April 2013)  Universal Credit (October 2013)

3 “ TAXES TAXES TAXES” The Bedroom Tax

4 Factors to Consider:  Measurement of under-occupation  Are there any exemptions?  What is “working age”  How much Housing Benefit is lost  What can be done to mitigate effects

5 Legislation allows: How many bedrooms? One bedroom for each person or couple living as part of the household, with the following exceptions:  a child aged 15 or under would be expected to share with one other child of the same gender; and  a child aged 9 or under would be expected to share with one other child aged 9 or under, regardless of gender.

6 Legislation allows:  “…and one additional bedroom in any case where the claimant or the claimant’s partner is a person who requires overnight care.”  If a member of a household dies the “eligible rent” is not reduced for a period of 12 months.  New claims for 13 weeks if claimant has not received HB in past 52 weeks.

7 1 April 2013 “working age” will be between 61years and 6 months and 61 years and 7 months. (Gradual increase) 1 April 2014 “working age” will be 62 years By 6 November 2018 “working age” will be up to 65 years. By October 2020 “working age” will be up to 66 years. Government plans to increase “working age” to 67 between 2034 and 2036 and 68 between 2044 and 2046.

8  Claimants: Under-occupying by 1 bedroom = £ per year (14% reduction) Under-occupying by 2 bedrooms = £ per year (25% reduction)  Housing Providers: 33% of SSL tenants under-occupying presently. 80% of those by 1 bedroom/20% by 2 or more bedrooms. 500 tenants on full HB, loss = £105,850 per year 750 tenants on full HB, loss = £151,776 per year 1,000 tenants on full HB, loss = £211,702 per year

9  Disability Living Allowance to be replaced by Personal Independence payments from April 2013 (Expectation to save 30% from this budget)  Social Fund (Community Care Grants & Crisis Loans) to be replaced by locally based assistance from Local Authority

10 The benefits and tax credits to be abolished and replaced by Universal Credit are:  Income Support  Income based jobseekers allowance  Income related employment and support allowance  Housing Benefit  Child Tax Credit  Working Tax Credit

11  Housing Costs direct payments  Paid 1 month in arrears  Monthly assessments  Claims to be made on-line  Changes of circumstances to be notified on-line  Working age in respect of bedroom tax reverts to the youngest member of a couple.  Higher levels of “conditionality”

12 SUPPORTING TENANTS :  Interview all tenants and find out what supports they require.  Prioritise tenants who wish to move to suitable accommodation.  Encourage mutual exchanges.  Provide incentives for tenants.  Claim Discretionary Housing Payments for all tenants affected by the bedroom tax.

13  Ensure tenant incomes are maximised.  Provide employment initiatives/training.  Assist tenants to open bank accounts and be financially included.  Provide IT training for tenants and provide on-line facilities to help make Universal Credit applications and notify DWP of changes of circumstances.

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