Restrictions in social rents; purpose built properties

Housing Benefit To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reductions in housing benefit announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 on claimants who receive housing benefit for housing that has been purpose-built for disabled people.

A Answered by: Justin Tomlinson Answered on: 01 December 2015

This policy was introduced because in some areas the increases in social rents have outstripped the increases in private rents. This policy will cap social sector rents at the relevant Local Housing Allowance rate for the area, but will only apply from April 2018 where a new tenancy is taken out or a tenancy is renewed after April 2016. By only applying the cap when a new tenancy is taken on or an existing tenancy is renewed will mean that claimants will have the opportunity to consider whether they can afford to take on the property before committing to the tenancy. The Discretionary Housing Payment scheme will be available for those living in accommodation that has been purpose built or significantly adapted to meet the needs of a disabled person, in the same way as it is for those who receive a reduction in their eligible rent for the removal of the spare room subsidy.