Housing benefits

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on housing benefits. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
01.11.2016Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?
This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper discusses evidence to suggest that private landlords are reluctant to let to prospective tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit. The paper considers the reasons behind this reluctance and why refusals are unlikely to amount to direct discrimination.
28.09.2016Paying for supported housing
This House of Commons Library briefing paper explains the impact of the Government's policy of requiring rent reductions, and also the application of Local Housing Allowance caps, on the supported housing sector. The sector has argued that the measures threaten its viability. On 15 September 2016 the Government announced that LHA caps will apply in 2019/20.
23.09.2016Welfare savings 2010-11 to 2020-21
The House of Commons Library Welfare Expenditure and Savings Tool combines multiple sources of expenditure and savings data into one easy to use, up-to-date analysis tool. Users can track changes in welfare expenditure over time, analyse savings as a proportion of expenditure and identify key policy measures by benefit announced since June 2010. Total spending on UK social security and tax credits will be 218.4 billion in 2016-17, 28.3% of total managed expenditure. Measures announced since 2010 will save around 26 billion in the same year, roughly 10% of what welfare spending might otherwise have been.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
09.08.2016Housing Benefit measures announced since 2010
This Commons Library Briefing Paper brings together details of the main Housing Benefit changes announced since 2010. Not all of the measures announced in 2015 have been implemented at this point.
05.05.2016Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme
This Commons Library briefing paper explains the assistance available for certain households with their mortgage interest payments. Help with mortgage costs is available to claimants of certain means-tested benefits for people not in full-time work. The schemes are collectively known as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). Payments are made towards mortgage interest payments and are generally made direct to lenders.
25.04.2016Welfare reform and disabled people
The Library briefing provides an overview of the benefits changes introduced since 2010 affecting disabled people and their families, looks at the impact of the changes, and summarises responses from disability organisations and others.
14.03.2016The Benefit Cap
This House of Commons Library briefing paper explains how the household benefit cap operates and considers evidence of its impact to date. It goes on to consider the Government's intention to reduce the cap from 26,000 to 20,000 per year (23,000 in London).
19.02.2016Impact of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (social rented housing)
This House of Commons Briefing Paper summarises some key findings arising from research into the impact of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (also referred to as the 'Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy' or 'bedroom tax').
18.02.2016Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16: Lords amendments
The Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16 had its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 9 February, and the Commons is due to consider Lords amendments on 23 February.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
10.11.2015Welfare Reform and Work Bill (HL Bill 69 of 2015-16)
This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill on 17 November 2015.
16.07.2015Debate on the Budget Statement
This Library Note provides background information on the Budget Statement which was delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on 8 July 2015. The Note provides a brief overview of some of the key Budget measures, before outlining the immediate reaction to the statement as expressed by members of the House of Commons and by a selection of organisations and commentators. It has been written to support the debate in the House of Lords on this subject scheduled to take place on 21 July 2015.
03.11.2014Women Facing Homelessness, Domestic Violence and Social Exclusion
On 6 November 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion: 'that this House takes note of women facing homelessness, domestic violence and social exclusion'.
06.02.2013Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill (HL Bill 78 of 2012-13)
The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill implements an announcement by the Chancellor in the 2012 Autumn Statement that increases in certain working-age welfare benefits and tax credits would be limited to 1 percent, rather than increasing them in line with inflation. This Library Note is intended to provide background information in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 11 February 2013.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
15.12.2010Changes to housing benefit announced in the June 2010 Budget.
Work and Pensions Select Committee report [Commons]
13.10.2010Local housing allowance.
Government response. Work and Pensions Select Committee; Department for Work and Pensions report [Commons]
22.03.2010Local housing allowance.
Work and Pensions Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
01.02.2011SECURE TENANCIES, LEVELS OF RENT AND HOUSING BENEFITS
That this House is concerned that proposals for new fixed-term tenancies for council and housing association tenants, and up to 80 per cent. of market rents for new housing association ...
19.01.2011HOUSING BENEFIT AND LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT
That this House notes that the Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts 1.36 million people will be claiming jobseeker's allowance at the start of 2013; further notes that in areas ...
13.12.2010JOBSEEKERS AND HOUSING BENEFIT
That this House notes that the Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts 1.36 million people will be claiming jobseeker's allowance at the start of 2013; further notes that in areas ...
02.12.2010HOUSING (S.I., 2010, No. 2836)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that theRent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) Amendment Order 2010 (S.I., 2010, No. 2836), dated 24 November 2010, a ...
02.12.2010SOCIAL SECURITY (S.I., 2010, No. 2835)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.I., 2010, No. 2835), dated 24 November 2010, a copy of which was ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses