Massive cuts to benefits in Hackney!

We have received a public document presented by Hackney Homes officers to a recent public Hackney Homes Board meeting which outlines massive cuts to Housing Benefits and other benefits and the way they are to be paid which will have a devastating impact on Hackney residents. See below, but for a summary Hackney Unison have produced this  http://hackneyunison.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/welfare-reform/

Welfare Reform (Hackney Homes briefing Oct 2012)

• Reforms from April 2013:

– Benefit Cap

– Under Occupancy

– DLA/PIP

– Council Tax Support

– Replacement of Social Fund with local scheme

• Universal Credit

– Timeframe

– Digital

– Limitations

– Extra Support

– Migration

Benefit Cap (£500/£350)

• Takes effect from 15/04/2013

• 1067 households in Hackney

• 50:50 in social/private rented sector tenancies

• 60 in TA, already homeless

• 93 are HH properties

• Loss in HB between £1.00 -£221.79

• HH have 32 large families (5 children +) affected

• Solution:

– Employment with Working Tax Credit award affords an exemption

Under Occupancy (Bedroom Tax)

• Takes effect from 1/04/2013

• Social rented sector only

• Working age only (not pensioners)

• 4179 households in Hackney

• 2255 households Hackney Homes, rest are RP’s

– 1663 by 1 room will lose 14% of HB

– 592 by 2 rooms will lose 25% of HB

• Solution:

– Find the shortfall, increase your income, take a lodger or move

DLA/PIP

• DLA abolished and replaced with PIP

• Health conditions will have to last 6 months instead

of 3 months

• Work capability re-assessment programme from

April 2013

• 11,000+ affected in Hackney

• No lifetime awards , renew at intervals of 2 years

• Pilots start in April 2013

• New claims June 2013

• 2 components with 2 rates

Council Tax Support

• Abolishing the current national Council Tax Benefit scheme

• All councils have to replace it with their own new local schemes with 12.5% less funding

• Pensioners protected

• Takes effect from 1/04/2013

• Reduction in support of 15%

• 28,000 households affected

• Public consultation is running from 13/08/12 –

22/10/12 : http://www.hackney.gov.uk/ctsconsultation.htm

Local Replacement Scheme

• Social Fund scheme abolished including Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans function

• Funding passed to councils but at 2005/6 levels, no requirement to run a scheme

• Hackney will run a crisis scheme

• Hackney Discretionary Crisis Support

• Takes effect from 1/04/2013

• £1.4m, £75k less

• Expect 10-11,000 applications

• Online, referrals, limited cash

• Short term advances and budgeting loans will stay with DWP

Universal Credit

• Replaces

– Income Support, JSA IB, ESA IR, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit with one benefit

• Paid monthly

• Direct to nominated person in household

• Hackney Homes currently have 15,485 tenants claiming Housing Benefit

• Benefits and Housing Needs Service pay £70+m peryear in Housing Benefit to Hackney Homes rent accounts (2011/12)

Universal Credit

• Timeframe

– Payment Direct pilot in Southwark June 2012

– Lewisham UC face to face pilot Autumn 2012

– Pathfinder with the boroughs of Tameside, Oldham, Wigan and Warrington April 2013

– New claims small scale Oct 2013, full capacity April 2014

• Digital

– Online customer accounts, award notifications, emails

– Limited telephone support and face to face

• Limitations

– Less allowances, no 2 homes, 1 month backdating, less service charge provision

• Extra support

– Exceptions

• Split payments

• More frequently – fortnightly

• Payment direct to landlords

– Budgeting and Support

– Financial Products

• Migration – reclaim not transfer

– Migration 2014-2017

– Natural

• Change of circumstances – 1 month process

– Managed

• 3 month process

• Extra support

– Exceptions

• Split payments

• More frequently – fortnightly

• Payment direct to landlords

– Budgeting and Support

– Financial Products

• Migration – reclaim not transfer

– Migration 2014-2017

– Natural

• Change of circumstances – 1 month process

– Managed

• 3 month process

Key timelines and known impacts:

Bedroom Tax 1/4/2013

• 2255 households affected:

o 1663 will lose 14%

o 592 will lose 25%

Benefit cap 15/04/2013

• 93 households affected

April 2013 – other benefit changes affecting residents disposable

income, non dependent changes, Council tax support

Universal Credit new claims October 2013/April 2014 potential for 30

cases per week

• 2014 change in circumstances

• 2014 – 2017 remaining 15,485 HB claimants move to UC

Potential impacts

Increase in arrears;

Reduction in service charge elements paid;

Increase in legal costs – direct payments with arrears will assist;

Increase in transaction costs (although 16,000 currently make some form of payment);

Increased early intervention resources;

Increased evictions;

Increase in void levels and associated costs;

Increased bad debt provision;

Inadequate debt advice provision and support services;

Increased pressure for vulnerable residents;

Pressure to find smaller properties for under occupiers.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39 other followers

%d bloggers like this: