IMA ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2013

Report
Q Hotel Midland Manchester
20th and 21st May 2013
“What money advisers need to
know about social housing”
Louise Harding
Head of Tenant Services
Coast & Country Housing
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Changing times, changing advice…..
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8 March 2012 - Welfare Bill enacted marking
biggest reform for 60 years
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Affects working age benefit claimants
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The changes to HB and LHA will affect social and
private landlords, tenants and strategic housing
authorities
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Policy Objective
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Housing benefit bill £22b
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3.3m Social Sector Housing Benefit claimants
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63% on Housing benefit
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1.7 million households on waiting lists in England
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Turn over of social sector around 5%
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Coalition Government identified two key problems:
work incentives are poor, and
 the system is too complex
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Reforming system to help people move into work
Aims to make it fairer, more affordable and better able
to tackle poverty, worklessness and welfare
dependency
DWP – ‘Committed to overhaul the benefit system to
promote work and personal responsibility’
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Benefit cap
Child benefit frozen
Education and Maintenance Allowance abolished
Introduction of Personal Independence Payment
Employment and Support Allowance restrictions
Increase in non-dependant charges
1% limit in welfare benefits increase
Abolition of Council tax benefit
Private rents (Local Housing Allowance) capped, frozen and
reduced
Universal Credit
Housing Benefits paid direct to tenants
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Bedroom Tax (under occupation rules)
Change to council tax support
Universal Credit
Direct payment to claimants including housing
benefit
The DWP estimates Source: DWP Housing Benefit: Under occupation of
social housing impact assessment (28 June 2012)
Under-occupation
by
Estimated
number
affected
% of affected
claimants
Average Weekly
HB loss
(2013/14)
One bedroom
540,000
81%
£12
Two or more
bedrooms
120,000
19%
£22
Total
660,000
100%
£14
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Annual government expenditure 2012-13 - £60m
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Annual government expenditure 2013-14 - £155m
£20m Baseline DHP fund
 £40m LHA reforms
 £30m Social sector size criteria
 Up to £65m for benefits cap
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Annual government expenditure 2013-14 - £125m
£20m Baseline DHP fund
 £40m LHA reforms
 £30m Social sector size criteria
 Up to £35m for benefits cap
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Affects 1,900 Coast & Country tenants
£12 - £22 a week reduction in housing benefit
170 in properties that have been specially adapted
owing to disability
Total loss of income to tenants £1.4m a year
R&C DHP 2013-14 £308k
C&C ‘allocation’ £123k
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10% cut in funding
Pensioners protected
Net effect on working age 20%
3.1m low income households affected
Average loss £2.64 per week
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63,000 households in Redcar & Cleveland
9,000 affected by cuts
6,000 where full council tax benefit paid before
changes
Band A - £3.18 per week
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£8m affected nationally
October 2013 – 2017
Trialled in 3 areas from April then further 3 from
July
Average gain £16 per month
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Coast & Country has 10,000 tenants
4237 working age and on benefit
Estimate 2816 will receive direct payment of
universal credit including rent
£12m per year additional rent to collect
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42% tenants in arrears
75% on housing benefit
10% increase in debt of those under-occupying
after 1 month
Arrears expected to double by 2017
16% non-payment of council tax after 1 month
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Using customer insight information to better target
resources
Working with new tenants – before tenancy starts
Involving the whole organisation
Different approach to rent debt
Better partnership working
Pooling resources - Moneywise
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Which service to use
Waiting times
Advice line – limited service
Drop in sessions
Access to face to face advice
No home visits
Limited service to rural areas
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Direct referrals
Ability to make appointments
Advice delivery to meet tenant needs
Contact details of caseworker
Liaison during case
Feedback on cases and outcomes
Caseworker based with housing provider
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Ms H age 24 living in a 3 bedroom property
Lives alone following relationship breakdown and
recently lost part time job
Job Seekers’ Allowance which is £56.80 a week
Rent £89.62 a week – 25% cut in housing benefit
£22.40 rent, £9.76 water rates and £4.18 a council
tax per week.
Leaves £5.46 a week for food, heating, lighting and
other essentials.
Owes £258.46 gas, £296.68 electricity, £90.79
Council Tax £90.79, and shopacheck £55.50.
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Mr B age 48 and has mental health issues
Unable to return to work because of this
His housing benefit has been cut by 25%
He gets £71.70 a week benefit
Has to pay £22.61 rent, £7.63 water rates and £4.18
council tax
Repaying social fund loan at £15 per week
Leaves him £21.58 a week to live on, to pay for gas,
electricity, food and other normal living expenses
Turned down when he applied for DLA last year and we
are helping him to apply for PIP
M B needs to stay near to his family as they are his lifeline
and we don’t have any smaller properties to offer him.
Steve
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age 36 separated from partner and lives in a 2 bedroom C&C
flat
Son Jamie aged 11 lives with his mam and stays with his dad
weekends and some holidays
When Steve first got the flat he was working for Corus however
lost his job when Corus closed. He is now looking for work
His rent is £74.28 and his HB has been cut by £10.40
He gets £71.70 a week JSA and has to pay £10.40 rent, £8 water
rates, £4.18 council tax and £19 fuel
This leaves him £30.12 a week for food, bus fares, TV licence and
phone

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