John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Friday, September 05, 2014
  Spare Rooms and Housing Benefit
When I took over as the House of Commons co-Chair of the DWP parliamentary policy committee in May I had two top priorities. One was to make some changes to the Spare Room Rent (aka Bedroom Tax). The other was to reduce the number of wrongful sanctions.

After a while I persuaded the party to adopt my proposals for automatic exemptions for people who need spare rooms for reasons relating to disability and secondly that people who wish to move should not have to pay until they have refused a reasonable offer.

I am pleased that once those had been put into the manifesto the opportunity came for Andrew George to press for those in a PMB.  Today the Private Members Bill passed its first hurdle.  (a second reading)

It is difficult to get PMBs into law.

In practise these changes create a better environment for many people, but change the situation from a payment through Discretionary Housing Payments to one relating to Housing Benefit.  Even in cases where people are moving they have been getting DHP support.

Hence the costs are marginal and with the reduced administration it could be a net zero.  However, it creates greater security for tenants which is a good thing.



 
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