In a bulletin to “stakeholder members” prompted by the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the DWP have confirmed that the introduction of “Housing Credit” originally planned for October 2014 has been put “on hold” and will not be introduced until at least 2017/18. The announcement is not at all surprising as Ministers like Ian Duncan Smith need the DWP to focus on the introduction of Unversal Credit which we’re now told should be in position throughout GB by 2016. Both Ministers and the DWP have been reeling from the way their “flagship” policy has been under pincer attack in recent weeks and are desperate to rebuild some credibility.
What does this mean to landlords?
Put simply, tenants of “pensionable age” (61+ and moving to aged 66 by the year 2020 – the “new pensionable age”) will continue to have their Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance assessed, awarded and paid in exactly the same way as at present. So if you’re a landlord worried about the introduction of Universal Credit you can forget about those tenants who are currently receiving Pension Credit. If you’re a Social Landlord, this represents around 25% of your tenants, and means that payment of HB will continue to be paid direct to you, if this is what your tenant has requested by “ticking the box”.
If you require further information or clarification about this briefing note, first examine the uploaded DWP bulletin or would like to become a member of our website www.ucadvice.co.uk please contact me bill@ucadvice.co.uk or phone 07733 080 389.

December 2013