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Housing Benefit

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the outcome was of his investigation of the feasibility of collecting information on the cost of housing benefit paid to households renting properties formerly owned by local authorities; and if he will make a statement. (154050)

Local authorities supply management information on housing benefit through a monthly claimant level data extract.

Since April 2007 this data extract should include, where applicable, the date when an individual housing benefit claimant had their tenancy transferred from a local authority property to a registered social landlord property. Only transfers occurring after 1 April 2007 will be captured through this data.

We are unable to identify where a housing benefit claimant is resident in a property that was formerly owned by the local authority if the transfer occurred prior to April 2007, or if it occurred when a different tenant was in place.

This data extract is not currently available for all local authorities and validation of this information needs to be carried out before the data can be used.