Eligibility for Housing Benefit Puts Shelters Under Threat
- 16 May
Night shelters in England and Wales are under threat over court ruling with housing benefit eligibility.
Dozens of shelters are concerned they will have to close if the housing benefit they rely on is withdrawn due to a change in definition.
Most shelters rely on the benefit for income, but the definition of a 'home' is being changed due to a legal ruling, which could result in the withdrawal of funding.
This would result in closure for many shelters across the country, as councils are having to review their policy of who is entitled to the benefit.
The council's reassessment of the definition is following an upper tribunal judgement made in Anglesey in 2012. A judge ruled that the council was not liable to pay housing benefit to an individual to cover the costs of overnight stays at a Holyhead shelter.
The decision was based on the man not storing belongings at the shelter, and because beds were allocated each night, so therefore the shelter could not be considered a permanent dwelling.
This has resulted in council's using this case to reassess who they will pay housing benefit to, despite the judge stating that this decision was based on specific facts of this case.
This has already resulted in one shelter in Salford being forced to close due to removal of funding after the council made changes following the court's decision.
The 28 bed shelter is no longer classed as a 'home' by Salford council, and therefore will no longer receive housing benefit. The home has had 2,200 people referred to it in the last 3 years.
Homeless Link, umbrella body for homelessness, said there are currently 10 other local authorities reviewing their position on who will receive the benefit.
A spokesperson said:
Currently decisions are dependent on interpretation locally, and councils appear to be interpreting differently the case law on what constitutes a home.‘Often these services are the only form of emergency accommodation for homeless people and their loss could have a significant impact.'
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said:
Housing benefit helps those on low income with the rent they are liable to pay on the dwelling they occupy as their home.
- 02 Nov
THE ONS PLANS TO CHANGE THEIR DECISION TO MAKE HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS PUBLIC BODIES
According to reports by 24 Housing, the ONS said the following:Gavin Smart, Chartered Institute of Housing's deputy chief executive also said:"Although we have been expecting this decision for some...
- 30 Aug
RECENT ANALYSIS FINDS THAT THE HELP TO BUY SCHEME HAS ADDED TO THE INFLATION OF HOUSE PRICES
The analysis of the Help to Buy Scheme revealed the following:The chief executive of Paradigm Housing Group, Matthew Bailes, said:" ... clearly, it worked well for developers, and for providers, it...
- 22 Aug
A NORTH WALES COUNCIL REVEALED THEIR WAITING LIST FOR NEW HOMES HAS REACHED BREAKING POINT
The north Wales Council revealed their waiting list for new homes has reached "breaking point".According to Clare Budden, Flintshire Council's community enterprise chief officer said:"There are...
- 17 Aug
HOMELESSNESS POLICY IS UNDER REVIEW IN A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNCIL
Kettering Borough Council has amended its letters to homeless residents to let them know of their right to request a temporary accommodation review.According to an ombudsman, Michael King:"People in...
- 15 Aug
FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS HAVE CAUSED THE CLOSURE OF MANY CHILDREN AND YOUTH CENTRES
Local Government Association (LGA) made the following findings:Chair of the LGA's children and young people board, Richard Watts, said: "The reality is that services for the care and protection of...
- 11 Aug
RESIDENTS OF BUILDINGS IN LEDBURY ESTATE, SOUTHWARK, SOUTH LONDON WILL BE MOVED OUT TEMPORARILY
The buildings in Ledbury Estate in Southwark have been constructed in a similar way to Ronan Point, a tower block in Newham which collapsed in 1968 as a result of a gas explosion, killing three. An...
- 10 Aug
THERE IS A DECLINE IN THE HOUSING MARKET IN LONDON AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) made the following findings:Chief Economist at Rics, Simon Rubinsohn:"Sales activity in the housing market has been slipping in the recent month...
- 07 Aug
REPORT FINDS THAT PEOPLE ARE INTENSELY SUFFERING FROM LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOMES IN SCOTLAND
According to the report by "Shelter":Shelter's deputy director, Alison Watson, said:"This report shows the disproportionate impact of Scotland's housing crisis on young people and private renters who...
- 02 Aug
NEW REPORT BY THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT COMMITTEE IN WALES COMMENDS HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS
The report which was put together after nine months of inquiries stated the following:Nick Ramsey, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said:"Generally, we found governance and regulation within...
- 31 Jul
LONDON COUNCIL URGES THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MEASURES TO END LETTING FEES FOR PRIVATE RENTERS
The London council say urgent action is needed because the government has not provided "a clear timescale to introduce its own measure", Letting Agent Today, reports.Last year, the government had...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful. I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9. In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd