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The government has changed the law to allow the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to share universal credit claimants’ personal data with social landlords, councils and charities.
On Friday, ministers laid down a controversial new statutory instrument to enable councils, housing associations, Citizens Advice bureaux, credit unions and charities to access information on universal credit claimants, so they can offer financial advice and support.
The Department for Work and Pensions has overturned a tribunal’s decision to exempt two brothers from the bedroom tax due to room size.
The landmark ruling is a blow to anyone hoping to challenge the bedroom tax solely by arguing that a room is too small to be considered a bedroom because of overcrowding definitions in the relevant Housing Acts in Scotland and England.
The head of a prominent regional lettings agency says the new immigration act being trialled in the Midlands from today, and possibly nationwide next year, could lead to agents accidentally discriminating.
It will also mean landlords will rely increasingly on agents who may have to change procedures to cope with the additional workload.
A welfare cheat who sent her children to private school and drove around in a BMW while illegally helping herself to £43,000 in housing and council tax benefits is facing prison.
Jurors at Croydon Crown Court heard that crooked Angella Brown, of Silverleigh Road, Thornton Heath, was also given a social home after lying to Croydon Council that she was homeless and forced to live in overcrowded conditions with a friend.
The proportion of private sector tenants evicted by their landlord or letting agent has fallen over the past year says the Residential Landlords Association.
According to the most recent English Housing Survey for 2012/13, just seven per cent of tenants who had moved in the last three years said that it was because they had been asked to leave by their landlord or agent. This compares with nine per cent in 2011/12.
Coastline Housing is planning its own pilot of universal credit in an attempt to assess the ‘real impact’ of the flagship benefit reform.
The 4,000-home south west association is set to become the first landlord to pay to test universal credit under more realistic conditions than the official pilot schemes run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), in order to model the true cost of direct payment.
A proposed bill to exempt hundreds of thousands of households from the bedroom tax would lead to legal challenges, appeals and more administration costs for social landlords, sector experts have warned.
A private members bill to change the bedroom tax, tabled by Liberal Democrat backbencher MP Andrew George, passed its second reading in the House of Commons by 306 votes to 231 last Friday.
MPs will debate and vote on measures to change the bedroom tax as part of an ‘affordable homes bill’ today.
Liberal Democrat backbencher Andrew George has tabled a private members bill that would exempt people from the bedroom tax if they have not received a reasonable offer of alternative accommodation. It would also exempt disabled people whose home has been adapted.
Labour MPs are set to support proposed legislation that would water down the bedroom tax.
In an article for the blog website LabourList yesterday, Rachel Reeves,
shadow work and pensions secretary, confirmed that her party would vote
for the private members bill, tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Andrew
Iain Duncan Smith is to signal a further crackdown on welfare in a speech suggesting that changes to the benefit system have lowered unemployment.
The Conservative might promise to lower the benefit cap from £26,000 to nearer to £18,000 in its general election manifesto.