Housing Benefit claimants' representatives questioned on support for housing costs

15 January 2014

The Work and Pensions Select Committee has announced the fourth oral evidence session for its inquiry into support for housing costs in the reformed welfare system.

The Committee issued terms of reference for this inquiry on 23 July 2013.


Wednesday 15 January, 9.30am; Grimond Room, Portcullis House

The witnesses are representatives of Housing Benefit claimants.

  • Carers UK, Steve McIntosh, Policy and Public Affairs Manager
  • The Children’s Society, Dr Sam Royston, Poverty and Early Years Policy Adviser
  • Homeless Link, Paul Anderson, Policy Manager
  • Scottish Public Health Network and NHS Health Scotland, Andrew Fraser, Director of Public Health Science at NHS Health Scotland
  • St Mungo’s, Anna Page, Policy, Public Affairs and Research Manager
  • Women’s Aid, Hilary Fisher, Director of Policy, Voice and Membership

Pupose of the session

The session will consider:

  • The impact of the changes to LHA on the ability of claimants to access affordable private accommodation and on the levels of homelessness
  • How the Benefit Cap and the social sector size criteria are affecting claimants, particularly vulnerable groups
  • Whether discretionary housing payments (DHPs) are sufficiently meeting the needs of claimants and the impact of local authority discretion in administering DHPs and local welfare assistance schemes
  • The impact of the localisation of support for Council Tax on vulnerable claimants
  • How elements of Universal Credit, such as direct payment of housing costs to tenants on a monthly basis, will impact claimants and what can be done to assist them
  • The impact of Universal Credit on the viability of supported housing projects

Future evidence sessions

Further evidence sessions have been provisionally scheduled on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 29 January at 9.30am 
  • Wednesday 12 February at 9.30am

All meetings will be in a House of Commons Committee room and will be held in public. Details will be confirmed in due course.

Further information

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