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Rents: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th April 2020.

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Photo of Richard Fuller Richard Fuller Conservative, North East Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she plans to take through the benefits system to support tenants to meet their rent payments during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 25 March 2020.

The correct answer should have been:

Support for rented housing costs are available through Universal Credit and Housing Benefit. Discretionary Housing Payments are also available, these payments are very flexible and can be considered where, in the local authority's opinion, further financial assistance towards housing costs is required.

Last week, the Chancellor announced, in response to COVID-19, that for 2020/21, we will increase the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents.

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

We have increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

The government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus. With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home.

From 26 March, landlords have had to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (i.e. serve notice that they want to end the tenancy) – this means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period.

This extended buffer period will apply in law until 30 September 2020 and both the end point, and the 3 month notice period can be extended if needed.

From 27 March, the court service has suspended all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in the system or any about to go in to it can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted.

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Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Support for rented housing costs are available through Universal Credit and Housing Benefit. Discretionary Housing Payments are also available, these payments are very flexible and can be considered where, in the local authority's opinion, further financial assistance towards housing costs is required.

Last week, the Chancellor announced, in response to COVID-19, that for 2020/21, we will increase the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents.

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

We have increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

The government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus. With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home.

From 26 March, landlords have had to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (i.e. serve notice that they want to end the tenancy) – this means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period.

This extended buffer period will apply in law until 30 September 2020 and both the end point, and the 3 month notice period can be extended if needed.

From 27 March, the court service has suspended all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in the system or any about to go in to it can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.