Headlines: October 7th, 1999

The Government is beginning to listen to the detail of the objection of councils and the voluntary sector over its method in planning to scrap housing benefit.It has agreed to make a change to the rules about sheltered accommodation, widening its definition to include more types of sheltered accommodation whose occupants will be allowed to claim Transitional Housing Benefit.

Transitional Housing Benefit paves the way for the long term ‘Supporting People’ arrangements that will be introduced from April 2003.

Housing Benefit is an income-related benefit which helps people on low incomes meet the cost of rented accommodation. It can pay up to 100 per cent of rent, depending on the claimant’s circumstances.

The Government is coming under attack from Labour councillors about its plans to end supporting rents up to 100 per cent – forcing every tenant to pay something.

In a recent Housing Today survey some said the plan was as likely to cause a disaster as profound as the introduction of the poll tax.