Housing Benefit

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th February 2012.

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Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Conservative, Bedford

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in how many cases local authorities paid housing benefit directly to landlords due to rent arrears of (a) less and (b) more than eight weeks in each of the last five years.

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

The information requested is only available for claimants subject to the local housing allowance whose benefit was paid to their landlord due to arrears of more than eight weeks over the last two years.

As at October each year Claims paid to landlord due to more than eight weeks of arrears Total local housing allowance caseload
2010 80,000 1,070,000
2011 90,000 1,240,000
Notes: 1. Figures refer to benefit units which may be a single person or a couple. 2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest ten thousand. 3. Where a claim is paid to the landlord, and the reason given is unknown, or appears not to be valid for a local housing allowance claim, it has been assumed that payment to the landlord is not due to arrears in excess of eight weeks. Approaching 10% of cases had missing or incorrect reason codes in each period. 4. These data reflect the methodology for allocating claimants between local housing allowance (LHA) deregulated tenancies and non-LHA deregulated tenancies as revised in January 2012. This change caused an approximate 6% fall in LHA tenancies and a corresponding 30% rise in non-LHA tenancies. 5. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces the quarterly aggregate clerical returns, and is available from November 2008. Over time this will improve the accuracy, timeliness and level of detail available in the published statistics, as the information supplied is quality assured. Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)

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