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F15/532

Welfare Reform

Request Description

Under the Freedom of Information Act, please disclose answers to the following questions. I would prefer if they were answered just on the email, as opposed to a PDF or a Word document, but if that is going to be a major worry, any format will be fine.

1. Voids (this first question is for stock owning local authorities only, but the others are for all councils)

a. How many empty council homes (voids) did you have on 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

b. What was the average void time taken to re-let a property on 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

2. Bedroom tax 

a. How many social tenants in your local authority were experiencing a reduction to their housing benefit because of the removal of the spare room subsidy on 1 August 2015? 2014? 2015?

b. How many tenants have downsized due to the removal of the spare room subsidy as of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

c. How many tenants have moved out of the local authority area due to the removal of the spare room subsidy as of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

d. How many tenants in your local authority have been evicted due to rent arrears compounded by the removal of the spare room subsidy?

3. Benefit cap

a. On 1 August 2015, how many social tenants in your local authority were experiencing a reduction to their housing benefit because of the benefit cap? 1 August 2014? 2015?

b. How many tenants have downsized due to the benefit cap as of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

c. How many tenants have moved out of the local authority area due to the benefit cap as of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

d. How many tenants in your local authority have been evicted due to rent arrears compounded by the benefit cap?

4. DHPs

a. When you initially wrote your council's policy on discretionary housing payment (DHP), did it contain requirements that potential recipients needed to find employment, or that DHP would be reduced for people spending money on luxury items eg alcohol cigarettes?

b. Since then, have you updated your DHP policy? When? Have you introduced new requirements for some DHP applications - such as a requirement to seek employment - or reduced/turned down DHP awards for those spending on luxuries, eg alcohol, cigarettes?

c. How many applications for DHP have you turned down or reduced because of requirements for some DHP applications - such as a requirement to seek employment - or reduced/turned down DHP awards for those spending on luxuries, eg alcohol, cigarettes? - As of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

5. Universal credit

a. How many tenants in your local authority have been evicted due to rent arrears compounded by universal credit?

b. How many applications have you sent to get the housing element of universal credit paid directly to the landlord (an Alternative Payment Arrangement - APA) at 1 August 2015? How many of these have been successful applications? At 1 August 2015, what was the average time between sending off an APA application and receiving the housing element money in your bank account?

6. Homelessness

a. How many more people do you expect to be made homeless in your local authority because of the reduction in the benefit cap to £23,000/£20,000?

Request Date4 August 2015
Requested byMedia
Released Date  

13 August 2015   

Response

1. Voids (this first question is for stock owning local authorities only, but the others are for all councils)

a. How many empty council homes (voids) did you have on 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

b. What was the average void time taken to re-let a property on 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

Answer: We hold no housing stock

2. Bedroom tax 

a. How many social tenants in your local authority were experiencing a reduction to their housing benefit because of the removal of the spare room subsidy on 1 August 2015? 2014? 2015?

1.8.2015 = 351, 1.8.2014 =391

b. How many tenants have downsized due to the removal of the spare room subsidy as of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

2015 - 10  2014 - 7 2013 - 4

c. How many tenants have moved out of the local authority area due to the removal of the spare room subsidy as of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

We do not collect data for this

d. How many tenants in your local authority have been evicted due to rent arrears compounded by the removal of the spare room subsidy?

Data only collected for rent arrears (no reason recorded) on homeless data so figure is not available

3. Benefit cap

a. On 1 August 2015, how many social tenants in your local authority were experiencing a reduction to their housing benefit because of the benefit cap? 1 August 2014? 2015?

CAP  1.8.2015 = 37.  1.8.2014 = 31

b. How many tenants have downsized due to the benefit cap as of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

This data is not recorded

c. How many tenants have moved out of the local authority area due to the benefit cap as of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

This data is not recorded

d. How many tenants in your local authority have been evicted due to rent arrears compounded by the benefit cap?

Data is only collected for rent arrears no reason is recorded for how arrears have accrued so figure not known

4. DHPs

a. When you initially wrote your council's policy on discretionary housing payment (DHP), did it contain requirements that potential recipients needed to find employment, or that DHP would be reduced for people spending money on luxury items eg alcohol cigarettes?

No

b. Since then, have you updated your DHP policy? When? Have you introduced new requirements for some DHP applications - such as a requirement to seek employment - or reduced/turned down DHP awards for those spending on luxuries, eg alcohol, cigarettes?

No

c. How many applications for DHP have you turned down or reduced because of requirements for some DHP applications - such as a requirement to seek employment - or reduced/turned down DHP awards for those spending on luxuries, eg alcohol, cigarettes? - As of 1 August 2015? 2014? 2013?

N/A

5. Universal credit

a. How many tenants in your local authority have been evicted due to rent arrears compounded by universal credit?

Universal credit has not been rolled out in Eastherts as yet

b. How many applications have you sent to get the housing element of universal credit paid directly to the landlord (an Alternative Payment Arrangement - APA) at 1 August 2015? How many of these have been successful applications? At 1 August 2015, what was the average time between sending off an APA application and receiving the housing element money in your bank account?

Universal credit has not been rolled out in Eastherts as yet

6. Homelessness

a. How many more people do you expect to be made homeless in your local authority because of the reduction in the benefit cap to £23,000/£20,000?

This calls for speculation and is outside the remit of FOI

Refused

                                                            

Refusal