Changes to housing benefit proposed by the UK Government, including the reduction in benefit following the introduction of a size criteria in social rented housing, will affect households in Wales. Almost half of working age housing benefit claimants in Wales live in under-occupied social housing. This is more than anywhere else in Great Britain.
Following its session on 11 March, the Welsh Affairs Committee will hold two further evidence sessions in relation to the impact of changes to housing benefit in Wales.
On Monday 15 April, the Committee will take evidence from the Welsh Government Minister and the Welsh Local Government Association to discuss the impact of changes to housing benefit and the effect on Welsh Government housing policy. In particular the Committee will examine the issue of under-occupancy and the direct payment of the housing element of Universal Credit to social housing tenants, due to come into effect nationally in October 2013.
Evidence session details:
Date: Monday 15 April 2013
Location: Committee Room 3, Senedd, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff.
Carl Sargeant AM, Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Karl Thomas, Head of Welfare Reform Housing and Rent Officers Wales, and Tamsin Stirling, Special Adviser, Welsh Government.
Councillor Dyfed Edwards, WLGA Housing Spokesperson and Leader of Gwynedd Council, and Sue Finch, Housing Policy Officer, Welsh Local Government Association
On Tuesday 16 April, The Committee will take evidence from housing associations to discuss the effects of housing benefit changes on them and their tenants. It will also meet with representatives from Landlords Association to discuss the effect the reforms will have on the private rented sector in Wales.
Evidence session details:
Date: Tuesday 16 April 2013
Location: Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster.
Nick Bennett, Chief Executive, Community Housing Cymru
Shayne Hembrow, Deputy Chief Executive, Wales and West Housing
Antonia Forte, Chief Executive, Cynon Taf Community Housing Group
Duncan Forbes, Chief Executive, Bron Afon Community Housing Group
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer, and Lee Cecil, Wales Representative, National Landlords Association
Douglas Haig, Director for Wales, Residential Landlords Association
Both evidence sessions are open to the public and press, all are welcome to attend. The venues are fully accessible. There is no need to reserve a place but if you would like more information please contact the Committee on 020 7219 6189 or [email protected]