Social Security Support for Housing


About the Inquiry


 The Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee has held an inquiry into Social Security Support for Housing. The remit of the inquiry was to explore how social security support for housing costs is impacted by welfare reform, with a particular focus on the local housing allowance and Universal Credit housing costs. The Committee considered how both reserved and devolved social security policy could address issues arising for tenants and landlords, particularly in the private rented sector.



The Committee issued a call for written views on 5 February 2019. 

The closing date for written submissions was 18 March 2019.

The Committee held 5 oral evidence sessions between 21 March and 2 May 2019.

The Committee published their report on the inquiry on 12 June 2019.  Read the published report here.

The Scottish Government responded to the Committee's report on 8 August 2019.  Read their response here.


The Committee issued a call for written views which can be accessed via the link below:

Read the call for views

The closing date for written submissions was Monday 18 March 2019.

Read the written submissions received

Read the news release

The Committee began taking oral evidence in March 2019 and held 5 evidence sessions.

On 21 March 2019, the Committee took evidence from:

John Blackwood, Chief Executive, Scottish Association of Landlords;

Alice Simpson, Assistant Director, Home for Good;

Sheila Haig, Customer Manager, City of Edinburgh Council.


On 28 March 2019, the Committee took evidence from:

Aoife Deery, Campaigns and Policy Officer, Shelter Scotland;

Mike Dailly, Solicitor Advocate and Principal Solicitor, Govan Law Centre;

Eilidh McIvor, Volunteer, Living Rent;

John Rafferty, Visiting Support Group Head, Bethany Christian Trust;

Gary Neil, Operations Manager, Rock Trust;

Rob Gowans, Policy Officer, Citizens Advice Scotland.


On 4 April 2019, the Committee took evidence from:

Paula Doherty, Benefits and Welfare Team Leader, Dumfries and Galloway Council;

Jeremy Hewer, Policy Lead, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations;

Julia Mulloy, Chief Executive, Scottish Borders Housing Association;

John Mills, Head of Housing Services, Fife Council;

Gail Ward, Housing Policy Offier, Highland Council.


On 25 April 2019 the Committee took evidence from:

Beth Reid, Senior Policy Officer, Crisis;

Ashley Campbell, Policy and Practice Manager, Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland;

Pete Searle, Director of Working Age Policy, Department for Work and Pensions;

Richard d'Souza, Head of Universal Credit Engagement Division, Department for Work and Pensions;

Derek Kilday, Group Director Central and West Scotland, Department for Work and Pensions.


On 2 May 2019 the Committee took evidence from:

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People, Scottish Government;

Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Scottish Government.


Visits and Events

On Wednesday 13th March the committee held an evening event in Leith. This event gave Members the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from individuals and support workers with experience in housing benefits and renting.



The Committees report on Social Security Support for Housing was published on 12 June 2019. Read the published report here.

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