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Local Housing Allowance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 21st January 2008.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to assist local authorities in the introduction of local housing allowance on 7 April 2008; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of James Plaskitt James Plaskitt Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

The Department of Work and Pensions has an extensive programme of support and advice to help local authorities introduce the local housing allowance.

The Department has provided local authorities with £59 million to support the implementation of the local housing allowance.

The Department delivered 20 regional seminars for local authorities throughout summer 2007. A range of implementation and guidance products have already been made available to assist local authorities with specific activities, based largely on examples of good practice provided by LHA pathfinder authorities.

The Department has developed a range of products to support local authorities in communicating with their stakeholders, particularly welfare rights organisations and landlords. A key aim of the LHA is to promote financial inclusion by encouraging tenants to have their benefit paid directly into their own bank accounts, and we have provided advice and information to local authorities to enable them to support their customers in opening bank accounts.

The Department will continue to provide communications, advice and support to local authorities in the run-up to the roll out of the local housing allowance in April 2008.

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