To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 2 September 2013, Official Report, column 250W on social security benefits: EU nationals, what the evidential basis is for housing benefit being a benefit that facilitates access to the labour market for the purposes of EU law.
Housing benefit is a linked to job seekers allowance, and classed as an in-work benefit in EU law. EU nationals only have access to housing benefit when they have satisfied that they are habitually resident in the United Kingdom, and those without a relevant right to reside cannot qualify for income-related benefits. All those who are entitled and eligible for benefits are treated equally, regardless of nationality, and assessed appropriately.
The issues of housing benefit and employment are covered in a number of DWP research reports, for example:
Department for Work and Pensions Research Report No 521 ‘Social housing and worklessness: Qualitative research findings’ by Del Roy Fletcher, Tony Gore, Kesia Reeve and David Robinson with Nadia Bashir, Rosalind Goudie and Sonia O'Toole:
Department for Work and Pensions Research Report No 482 ‘Social housing and worklessness: Key policy messages’ by Del Roy Fletcher, Tony Gore, Kesia Reeve and David Robinson:
Department for Work and Pensions Research Report No 383 ‘Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit as in work benefits; claimants' and advisors' knowledge, attitudes and experiences’ by Caroline Turley and Andrew Thomas:
Department for Work and Pensions Research Report No 79 ‘Moving into work: bridging housing costs’ by Bruce Stafford, Claire Heaver, Nicola Croden, Anne Abel Smith, Susan Maguire and Jill Vincent:
Though these reports date from a number of years ago and in many cases do not reflect the current system of housing benefit, they have been used, where appropriate, in designing the current system of housing support.