Work and Pensions
Christopher Leslie (Nottingham East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make provision in the universal credit system to ensure that people in need of refuge support as a consequence of domestic violence have access to short-term housing support equivalent to that provided under the current housing benefit system.
Steve Webb (Minister of State (Pensions), Work and Pensions; Thornbury and Yate, Liberal Democrat)
The Government are committed to tackling domestic violence and providing better support for victims. It is our intention that universal credit will not cause a reduction in support levels for victims of domestic violence.
The housing benefit rules that currently apply for those living in refuges and other supported housing are complex to administer and understand. We do not intend to reduce the overall level of support that the sector currently receives from housing benefit but we do intend to simplify and streamline the current arrangements.
We have conducted a consultation on proposals to redesign and simplify these arrangements and we received a substantial number of often comprehensive replies. We are continuing to develop plans for new funding arrangements under universal credit and we expect to announce further information in due course.