Private Rented Housing: 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, whether people with a reduced income after following guidance on coivd-19 are eligible for assistance with rented housing costs through the Discretionary Housing Payments scheme; and whether additional funding has been allocated to local authorities for that payment scheme.

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 23 March 2020.

The correct answer should have been:

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.

Discretionary Housing Payments are made at local authority discretion, including the amount and duration of any award.

Local authorities administer the scheme as they are best placed to make informed judgements about relative priorities and needs in their area to ensure that the most vulnerable are supported and the limited funds are targeted effectively.

As we have announced at the spending round for 2020/21 there is £179.5m in DHPs for Local authorities to support renters with housing costs in the private and social rented sector. The increase to the Local Housing Allowance rates will help alleviate shortfalls in the private rented sector and relieve pressure on DHPs.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No1 person thinks not

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

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.

Discretionary Housing Payments are made at local authority discretion, including the amount and duration of any award.

Local authorities administer the scheme as they are best placed to make informed judgements about relative priorities and needs in their area to ensure that the most vulnerable are supported and the limited funds are targeted effectively.

As we have announced at the spending round for 2020/21 there is £179.5m in DHPs for Local authorities to support renters with housing costs in the private and social rented sector. The increase to the Local Housing Allowance rates will help alleviate shortfalls in the private rented sector and relieve pressure on DHPs.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

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