Social Security Support for Housing Call for Views

Introduction

The Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee has launched an inquiry into Social Security Support for Housing. The Committee will explore how changes to the social security system are impacting on tenants and landlords. The Committee is seeking input from organisations and individuals to inform their view.

Background

The Committee has heard evidence that increasing numbers of people are experiencing hardship due to the rising cost of rent, with the gap between private sector rents and the amount provided by the social security system increasing.

The Social Security Committee is asking for views, on any or all of the following questions, including from those with experience in this area, people with lived experience of the benefits system, and experts:

• How have changes to the Local Housing Allowance impacted on the private rented sector, particularly for the affordability of rents for young people?

• To what extent have UK welfare reform measures impacted on private landlords’ willingness to let to those in receipt of social security benefits? (Including for example, the impact of Universal Credit, the benefit freeze and the benefit cap).  

• How does the administration of Universal Credit Housing Costs impact on the ability of tenants to pay their rent and landlords to administer rent payments? (for example, the impact on rent arrears, communication between landlords and the DWP)

• How do Universal Credit Scottish Choices and Discretionary Housing Payments impact on the way landlords and tenants handle Universal Credit housing costs?

• In all of the above, what improvements could be made to reserved and devolved systems, including the way they interact with each other.

Remit

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 will consider how both reserved and devolved social security policy can address issues arising for tenants and landlords, particularly in the private rented sector.

Next steps

Starting in March 2019, the Committee plans to hear from witnesses, consider written submissions and undertake visits to hear from people with lived experience.

If you would be willing to give evidence at a Committee meeting, please indicate this on your written submission.

The Committee will publish a report with its findings on completion of the inquiry.

How to submit your views

The Committee is looking for written submissions by Monday 18 March 2019.

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal data.

Please use the template provided to format your submission and complete the Data Protection Form and return it with your submission.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language.

Written responses should be sent electronically, in the template format to the following address. Ideally they should be no more than four sides of A4.

SocialSecurityCommittee@parliament.scot

If you cannot submit electronically you may send in a hard copy written submission. If you are sending in a hard copy submission please print off and include a copy of the Data Protection Form. Please send them to:

Social Security Committee

T3.60

The Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh

EH99 1SP

 

 

 

 

 

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