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Housing Benefit

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th May 2011.

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Photo of Craig Whittaker Craig Whittaker Conservative, Calder Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether there will be provision for tenants in the private rented sector to decide to whom the housing element of universal credit is paid.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Government see the main purpose of the benefit system as helping people into work. This is why customers claiming housing benefit according to local housing allowance rules have their payment made to them directly, except where they are unable to handle their financial affairs or where they have got into rent arrears of eight weeks or more.

We intend to take these principles forward into universal credit so private-rented sector tenants, moving onto universal credit for the first time, will generally be paid direct. We are, however, retaining a facility for direct payment to landlords.

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