The Homelessness Reduction Bill has passed the relevant stages in the House of Commons. It will now move to the House of Lords for its first reading on the 24 February 2017.
Inquiry into Universal Credit
Following evidence of problems in the rollout of Universal Credit, the Work and Pensions Committee has re-launched its inquiry.
The Committee is inviting written submissions addressing one or more of the following points:
- How long are people waiting for their Universal Credit claim to be processed, and what impact is this having on them?
- How are claimants managing with being paid Universal Credit monthly in arrears?
- Has Universal Credit improved the accuracy of payments?
- Have claimants reported making a new claim for Universal Credit, and then found that the system has not registered their claim correctly?
- What impact is Universal Credit having on rent arrears, what effect is this having on landlords and claimants, and how could the situation be improved?
- Would certain groups benefit from greater payment process flexibility and, if so, what might the Government do to facilitate it?
- Does Universal Credit provide people in emergency temporary accommodation with the support they need, and how could this be improved?
- What impact is Universal Credit having on the income and costs of local authorities, housing associations, charities and other local organisations?
- How well is Universal Support working, and how could it been improved?
- What impact has the introduction of full Universal Credit service had in areas where it has replaced the live service?
Members have told Homeless Link that many of the problems related to Universal Credit have been experienced by homeless people. If you have any thoughts or comments in response to these specific questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 13 March
Benefit cap inquiry
The Work and Pensions Committee have also launched an inquiry into the benefit cap. The Committee invites written submissions addressing the following points:
- The cap is intended to incentivise behavioural change amongst claimants and secure savings for the Exchequer. To what extent is it achieving that?
- To what extent has claimant behaviour responded to the cap, through moving into work, moving house etc? What effect does the lower cap have on incentives, what are the barriers to behavioural change and how can they be overcome?
- Does the cap address high underlying rates of housing benefit and child maintenance in a fair way?
- What are the consequential costs of the cap for other public spending, such as that by local authorities?
- What are the consequences for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) and what impact does use of DHPs have on behavioural change?
- Are there unintended consequences (either positive or negative) of the cap?
The deadline for written submissions is Friday 7 April 2017. If you would like to respond you are able to do so through the Benefit cap inquiry page.
Homeless Link would also be interested in hearing member’s thoughts or comments in response to these specific questions. Please email email@example.com by Friday 31 March.
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Chris is our policy manager with particular responsibility for a number of areas including welfare and migration.