Proposed changes to housing benefit and universal credit 13.07.12
Women’s Aid has some significant concerns about particular aspects of the draft regulations relating to the implementation of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. These could seriously affect the continued provision of refuge accommodation and the accessibility of safe accommodation for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
Women’s Aid has responded to the consultation to express our views. Our main concerns are that Universal Credit regulations will mean that survivors will receive less housing costs in Universal Credit, and so be unable to pass on the full cost to refuge services. This will result in closures and decimate the refuge network.
Read our Women's Aid Briefing: Welfare Reform - Universal Credit July 2012
Read our full response to the consultation
Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform at DWP, has written to Polly Neate, Women’s Aid’s Chief Executive Officer, stating that the Government’s intention is to protect supported housing such as refuge services from the benefit cap, bedroom tax and Universal Credit changes. This would help refuge services that have a management agreement with the landlord to provide support. As these arrangements do not fall within the precise definition of ‘exempt accommodation’ DWP is working with a range of stakeholders to develop solutions such as a change to the definition. Women’s Aid welcomes this letter as helpful clarity about the Government’s intentions. Read the letter here.
In addition here is our response to the Department of Work and Pensions consultation on Discretionary Housing Payments.
Read our Response to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee on the introduction of Universal Credit
Women’s Aid has commented on the DWP guidance on personal budgeting support. See the DWP guidance. With this guidance DWP also published a Local Support Services Framework – read Women’s Aid’s response to this.
Read Women’s Aid’s response to the DWP personal budgeting support guidance.