Support for housing costs in the reformed welfare system

23 July 2013

The Work and Pensions Committee is to undertake an inquiry into provision of support to meet housing costs in the reformed welfare system

The Committee published a report in November 2012 on Universal Credit implementation: meeting the needs of vulnerable claimants. The 
Government Response (PDF 539.8KB) was published in February 2013.

A number of welfare reforms have been introduced which will become part of Universal Credit but which are already being implemented. These include changes to housing benefit and other support provided for housing costs.

The Committee has decided to begin an inquiry to look at the effects of these changes and the ways in which housing cost support might be provided in the welfare system in the future, as Universal Credit is rolled out nationally. 

The housing support changes which are being implemented include:

  • Local Housing Allowance (LHA) reforms
  • Direct payment of housing costs to claimants
  • Household benefit cap 
  • Social sector size criteria 
  • Localised council tax support

Submissions of no more than 3,000 words are invited from interested organisations and individuals.

The Committee is particularly interested in hearing views on:

  • New and innovative responses to the changes to housing support already taking place, which could help shape future approaches;
  • The implications of the changes for:
  1. landlords (private rented sector and Registered Social Landlords)
  2. local authorities (including availability of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs))
  3. claimants, particularly those in vulnerable groups (such as people with disabilities and families with children), and those in supported and temporary accommodation.
  • Treatment of housing costs within Universal Credit.

Submissions do not need to address all of these points.

The deadline for submitting evidence is Friday 27 September.

How to submit your evidence

  • To encourage paperless working and maximise efficiency, select committees are now using a new web portal for online submission of written evidence. The web portal is available on our website.
  • The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing.

Each submission should:

  • be no more than 3,000 words in length
  • be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible
  • have numbered paragraphs
  • If you need to send a paper copy please send it to: The Clerk, Work and Pensions Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.


  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.
  • Further Guidance on submitting evidence to Select Committees is available online.

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