Exempt accomodation – Eligible rent costs

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  • #37982
    smk
    Participant

    Hi

    I am current reviewing the rent for one of our exempt accomodation providers. The landlord provides accomodation for tenants with autism.

    This years rent increase includes an addtional charge as outlined below and I want to check if this is eligible for housing benefit.

    3 of the properties are shared by by 4 tenants (12 in total) however there is an addition room for a carer. The costs for this is worked out at £25.00 per tenant per week in the past this cost was included in the support package however due to a change in the support provider this is now been included in the rent.

    Is this eligible for Housing Benefit?

    Any advise would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    #106941
    Nicky
    Participant

    No is my answer. It’s a support cost.

    #106944
    Kevin D
    Participant

    Case law says it’s rent.

    #106950
    Andy Simpson
    Participant

    Agreeing with Kevin which means you have to make a decision on whether the rent is reasonable when compared to suitable alternative accommodation, etc.

    Anybody any idea what happened to the DWP’s review of Exempt Accommodation which was supposed to have some recommendations out last December.

    All together now:

    “Why are we waiting, Why are we waiting………”

    #106973
    smk
    Participant

    Thanks for your input do you know the specific case law on this Kevin thanks

    #106977
    Kevin D
    Participant

    CH/1615/2008

    #107003
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Staff time is a support cost, accommodation costs are rent (agree with Kevin – Case Law).

    EA review hasn’t disappeared and I gather that the DWP’s recommendations have been made – hearsay suggests that the delay is due to Cabinet Office being unhappy with those recommendations, which could mean anything and probably shouldn’t be trusted.

    The consultation document has been due any time for about 6 months now, so expect it whenever. Changes still scheduled to be implemented in April 2012?

    #107004
    mrd
    Participant

    I agree that the costs of the provision of the room are certainly eligible but I would question why these costs have only been identified now i.e. how does a cost previously identified as a support cost and presumably accepted as such suddenly become a housing cost.
    It appears that on the face of it you are being asked to accept that the previous support provider incorrectly included housing costs for the room in its support package and that these were paid for as support costs?
    If they were met as support costs has that funding been withdrawn and on what grounds?

    #107039
    smk
    Participant

    Thanks for all the input

    The reason behind this is a change in the support provider and the additional room not been included when this was agreed.

    #107042
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Just shows that some support providers are more clued up than others – decision needs to be based on eligibility, and as the Case Law suggests this is a cost that can be borne by HB.

    It would be up to the local LA service commissioner to claw back any duplicate payments (i.e. any sums previously paid to Provider A for the extra room that are no longer paid to Provider B). My guess is that they already have reduced the contract price, given the current financial pressures.

    As mrd suggests, you could ask the provider if the amount is still included in the support package, but if the answer is ‘yes’ then you always have the option of saving your needy colleagues in Social Services some money by letting HB subsidy take the strain?

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