Is Vulnerability process working?

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  • #34436
    Andy Shanks
    Participant

    Hi there,

    This is a general sort of question type thing.
    We have some people from 3rd party organisations and within our own LA telling the benefits section that more people are being evicted because the HB under LHA is being paid to vulnerable people.

    The implication seems to be that it is our fault for not making the decision that these people were vulnerable.

    Our defence is that we either did not know that there was a vulnerability aspect or we did not receive evidence to back up the vulnerability request.

    So my question is are we the only LA who are having problems with getting information on and about vulnerable applicants?

    #96814
    sharonwarner
    Participant

    We have not had any negative feedback about our process but I think we are quite considered in our decisions.

    For example, we had a gentleman who told us that he was vulnerable when requesting a claim form. We sent him the form and the Vulnerability form and he duly completed both.

    He stated that he was an alcoholic and so we asked for evidence but he did not reply. As a result, I visited and it became clear that he was not engaging with any support services or seeing his doctor. His self neglect was evident.

    As a result, we paid the landlord direct even though we didn’t really have any evidence. My report was considered enough to pay for 3 months and I am due to visit again and see if he has moved on at all in the next few weeks.

    On the whole, the biggest issue with vulnerability we have found is that some landlords are now only taking on vulnerable claimants. This would not normally be an issue but they are housing people with addictions in houses of multiple occupation, with other tenants all with the same issues. As a result, we are getting areas of deprivation in certain roads rather than postcodes that we used to see.

    #96815
    jmembery
    Participant

    Andy
    We are getting much the same. A general moan that there are lots more evictions and it is all because of LHA. (Not the recession).

    However, no one is able to point to any cases where LHA was actually a factor in an eviction, and we have only had 27 “vulnerable” requests of which we have granted 21.

    I don’t want to be complacent and say that LHA is not an issue in evictions, but, in my area at least, I have not seen any hard evidence yet.

    Jeff

    #96816
    Andy Shanks
    Participant

    Jeff ,

    I have had a quick check through our numbers and out of 122 vulnerability processes we paid the landlord on 81 of them. Not as high as you but still 2 thirds.
    We have just received an e-mail from Shelter asking about this issue ;which to be honest we did not think was an issue as it all seemed to be ticking along. Of course in the quick cut and thrust of benefits it may be that ticking along is not enough!

    I wil have to look at how we can monitor this issue a bit more closely 😕

    Anyone else having any problems with this issue?

    #96817
    SuzanneH
    Participant

    could I ask how other LA’s are working with tenants so that in the future they can manage the responsibility of receving their LHA, I apprecaite there are claimants who will never be in that posistion, but what resource are you putting it to work with the other group?

    #50831
    SuzanneH
    Participant

    could I ask how other LA’s are working with tenants so that in the future they can manage the responsibility of receving their LHA, I apprecaite there are claimants who will never be in that posistion, but what resource are you putting it to work with the other group?

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