Housing benefits

All Standard Notes
36 Documents
19.03.2015The Parties' housing policy commitments 2015
This note collates public commitments made on housing policy by the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party ahead of the publication of the parties' 2015 election manifestos.
13.03.2015Measures to limit migrants' access to benefits
Following an article by the Prime Minister's in the Financial Times on 27 November 2013 in which he said he shared concerns about the impact of lifting transitional restrictions on the right of Romanian and Bulgarian right to work in the UK from 1 January 2014, the Government has introduced a raft of measures 'to tighten up our EEA migration rules to ensure our welfare system is not taken advantage of.'
11.03.2015Housing Benefit: Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs)
This note explains the funding position and considers evidence (to date) on how Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are allocated. Increasing the level of funding for DHPs has been one of the ways in which the Government has sought to mitigate the impact of some of the reductions to Housing Benefit entitlement, including the 'Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy' or 'bedroom tax.'
10.03.2015Constituency casework: housing (England)
This note provides a guide to reliable sources of information (including other House of Commons Library briefings) for answering common constituents' housing problems.
05.03.2015Under-occupation of social housing: Housing Benefit entitlement
This note provides information on under-occupation in the social rented sector and explains who is affected by the under-occupation deductions from Housing Benefit (also referred to as the Spare Room Subsidy or the bedroom tax) which were implemented in April 2013. The note summarises legal challenges to the HB deductions and the responses by landlords and tenants.
17.02.2015Housing Benefit: withdrawing entitlement from young people
This note covers policy announcements on the withdrawal of Housing Benefit entitlement from young people under 21. The note considers evidence on the potential impact of withdrawal and provides comment from housing organisations and those working with young homeless people.
06.02.2015Further devolution of powers to Scotland: Universal Credit housing element and payment arrangements
This note explains the Smith Commission's proposals and the Draft Scotland Clauses in relation to Universal Credit (UC), including the housing costs element (currently Housing Benefit). As it stands, UC will remain a reserved benefit but the Scottish Parliament would be given the power to vary the housing costs element of UC, and powers to vary the manner and frequency of UC payments.
30.12.2014The Affordable Homes Bill 2014-15
This note provides background information on the Bill's provisions and summarises the content of the Bill. The Bill's Committee Stage was adjourned on 29 October 2014 as a money resolution must be passed in order for it to progress any further.
15.12.2014The impact of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (social rented housing)
This note summarises some key findings of the ongoing studies into the impact of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (also referred to as the 'spare room subsidy' or 'bedroom tax').
27.11.2014Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) Bill 2014-15
The Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) Bill is a Private Members' Bill presented by Christopher Chope. The Bill makes provision 'to restrict the entitlement of non-UK Citizens from the European Union and the European Economic Area to taxpayer-funded benefits.' The Bill provides that the restrictions on entitlement are 'notwithstanding the provisions of the European Communities Act 1972.'
26.11.2014Housing Benefit: Shared Accommodation Rate
The Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) limits the amount of Housing Benefit that single person under the age of 35 can receive. This note provides background information on the operation of the SAR and its extension in January 2012 to claimants under age 35.
24.11.2014Votes in Parliament on the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit
This note provides information on when divisions (votes) concerning this measure (referred to as the 'bedroom tax' and also the 'spare room subsidy' have taken place in Parliament and on the outcome of those divisions. Details are provided on how the different Parties voted.
29.10.2014Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?
There is some evidence to suggest that private landlords are reluctant to let to prospective tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit. This note explains the reasons for that reluctance and why it is not unlawful.
12.05.2014Council Tax Reduction Schemes
This note provides information on the implementation of Council Tax Reduction Schemes from 1 April 2013.
27.03.2014The Household Benefit Cap
This note explains how the household benefit cap will operate and summarises reactions to it, including attempts to amend the benefit cap as the Welfare Reform Act progressed through Parliament.
10.02.2014Paying the housing element of Universal Credit direct to tenants in social rented housing
This note explains the Government's intention that social housing tenants in receipt of assistance with their housing costs should take responsibility for passing this assistance to their landlords when Universal Credit is phased in from April 2013.
30.12.2013The reform of Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance) for tenants in private rented housing
This note discusses the implementation of the LHA since 7 April 2008 and the reform of Housing Benefit for private tenants.
23.12.2013Housing Benefit: under-occupation in the private rented sector
This note explains issues around the application of the size criteria to people under-occupying their homes in the private rented sector and who are in receipt of Housing Benefit.
29.11.2013The housing element of Universal Credit
This note highlights some of the key differences between the current Housing Benefit system and the housing element of Universal Credit.
11.10.2013Measures to reduce Housing Benefit expenditure - an overview
This note outlines all the measures aimed at reducing Housing Benefit expenditure set out in the June 2010 Budget and the October 2010 Spending Review, together with comment and an assessment of the impact of those measures.
24.06.2013Localising support for Council Tax - background
This note provides background to the introduction of Council Tax Reduction Schemes and the abolition of Council Tax Benefit.
29.05.2013Paying Local Housing Allowance direct to tenants in private rented housing
This note explains the requirement to pay Local Housing Allowance direct to most tenants in the deregulated private rented sector since 7 April 2008.
28.05.2013Support for Mortgage Interest scheme
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.
07.02.2013Draft Universal Credit Regulations 2013
Starting in selected 'Pathfinder' areas from April 2013, Universal Credit (UC) will begin to replace a range of means-tested benefits and tax credits for working age families. The Draft Universal Credit Regulations set out the detailed rules for the new benefit.
07.12.2012Housing Benefit reform - supported housing
This paper explains the Government's proposals for the reform of Housing Benefit for residents in supported housing and includes a summary of early responses to the proposals.
09.11.2012Universal Credit: an introduction
Starting from next year, Universal Credit (UC) will begin to replace a range of means-tested benefits and tax credits for working age families. The intention is to simplify and streamline the benefits system for claimants, making it easier for people to understand; to reduce the financial and administrative barriers to work; to tackle in-work poverty; and to bear down on fraud and error.
27.01.2012Welfare Reform Bill 2010-12: amendments at the Lords Committee and Report stages
The Welfare Reform Bill has its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 31 January 2012. At Report Stage in the Lords, the government suffered defeats on amendments relating to under-occupation of social housing, the Employment and Support Allowance, the proposed benefit cap, and child support maintenance
05.12.2011Uprating of social security benefits
Most but not all benefits are uprated in April each year, by reference to the increase in prices over the year to the previous September. The current Government has adopted the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) as the measure of inflation for uprating purposes. CPI tends to rise more slowly than the measures used. previously. The CPI for September 2011 was higher than expected, and media reports have suggested that the Government was considering changing the basis for uprating benefits. In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that while benefits would increase by the full CPI from April 2011, the couple and lone parent elements of Working Tax Credit would be frozen and the child element of Child Tax Credit would increase by less than was planned.
05.12.2011EEA nationals: the 'right to reside' requirement for benefits
To access most social security benefits and tax credits, a EEA national has to have a 'right to reside' in the UK. Broadly speaking, this means they must be economically active. The European Commission has stared infingement proceedings agains the UK on the basis that the test discriminates against non-UK nationals from other Member States, but the UK Government has pedged to fight any challenge.
26.08.2011Welfare Reform Bill 2010-12: Commons Report Stage and Third Reading
The Commons Report Stage and Third Reading of the Welfare Reform Bill took place on 13 and 15 June. Amendments relating to the Universal Credit, housing support, the Social Fund and the Personal Independence Payment were debated, but other groups of amendments -including those on Employment and Support Allowance changes and the benefit cap - were not discussed as proceedings on each day reached the deadlines specified in the programme motion before they could be considered.
07.06.2011Benefit and tax credit recipients by local area
Latest benefit and tax credit recipient numbers by local authority, focusing on benefits affected by changes in 2010 Budget
18.05.2011The Habitual Residence Test
The Habitual Residence Test is applied to people (unless they are exempt categories) who have recently arrived in the country and who make a claim for certain means-tested social security benefits, or seek housing assistance from a local authority.
05.01.2011Support for Mortgage Interest: the standard rate from 1 October 2010
The Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme provides help with mortgage interest payments for claimants of certain means-tested benefits. From 1 October 2010 the standard interest rate used to calculate SMI payments was cut from 6.08 per cent to 3.63 per cent. This note looks at the background to the change and at the issues it raises.
08.11.2010Housing Benefit: summary statistics for local authorities
Contains an overview of key Housing Benefit statistics for Great Britain and a table of statistics for local authorities.
12.11.2009Housing Benefit entitlement: renting from relatives
Housing Benefit entitlement: renting from relatives. By Wendy Wilson. SN/SP/3078. This note explains why people who rent from relatives are sometimes refused Housing Benefit.
03.12.2008Means-tested benefits: help with mortgage costs
Means-tested benefits: help with mortgage costs. By Steven Kennedy. SN/SP/737.
All Research Papers
9 Documents
04.01.2013Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill
16.05.2012Local Government Finance Bill 2012-13
This paper summarises the Second Reading and Committee of the Whole House stages of the Local Government Finance Bill 2010-12, which has been carried over into the 2012-13 session. Library Research Paper 12/01, Local Government Finance Bill 2010-12, published for Second Reading on 10 January 2012 in the 2010-12 session, is relevant.
05.01.2012Local Government Finance Bill 2010-12
This Research Paper has been prepared for the second reading of the Local Government Finance Bill 2010-12. The Local Government Finance Bill has been carried over into the 2012-13 session as Bill 4 of 2012/13. The Bill had completed its Committee Stage before the end of the 2010-12 Session and will have its remaining stages on 21 May 2012. Research Paper 12/14 considers the proceedings on the Bill before it was carried over.
08.06.2011Welfare Reform Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill. It complements Research Papers 11/23 and 11/24, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate.
07.03.2011Welfare Reform Bill: Universal Credit provisions
The Welfare Reform Bill provides for the introduction of a 'Universal Credit' to replace a range of existing means-tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age, starting from 2013. The Bill follows the November 2010 White Paper, Universal Credit: welfare that works, which set out the Government's proposals for reforming welfare to improve work incentives, simplify the benefits system and tackle administrative complexity.
04.03.2011Welfare Reform Bill: reform of disability benefits, Housing Benefit, and other measures
This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. For information on the provision in the Bill relating to the introduction of Universal Credit, please see the complementary Library Research Paper, 11/24. Besides Universal Credit, the Bill proposes a number of other significant welfare reforms, including replacement of the current Disability Living Allowance, restriction of Housing Benefit entitlement to social housing tenants whose accommodation is larger than they need, time-limiting the payment of contributory Employment and Support Allowance to twelve months, and capping the total amount of benefit that can be claimed.
19.07.2006The Welfare Reform Bill [Bill 208 of 2005-06]
16.12.1999Social sec. war pension and National Insurance provisions in the Child Support Pensions and Social Security Bill (Bill 9 1999/2000)
Social security, war pension and National Insurance provisions in the Child Support Pensions and Social Security Bill (Bill 9 of 1999/2000). House of Commons Library Research Paper 99/108.
22.06.1998Rent levels affordability and housing benefit
Rent levels, affordability and housing benefit. House of Commons Library Research Paper 98/69.