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Local Housing Allowance

Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what support local housing allowance recipients without bank accounts will receive after April 2008. (178603)

The evaluation evidence from the Local Housing Allowance Pathfinders showed clearly that money advice services provided by local authorities were working well. With help from local authorities, and partners such as welfare organisations, credit unions and banks themselves, around 96 per cent. of customers in Pathfinder areas now have a bank or building society account.

The evaluation evidence also shows that around a quarter of customers in Pathfinder areas said that they opened the account so that they could receive payment of the housing allowance. We are sharing the lessons learnt through the Pathfinders during national rollout to help those without access to a bank account to open one.

We are also encouraging local authorities to ensure that payment facilities are available for the small proportion of customers who cannot open a bank account.

The Department for Work and Pensions is leading a campaign to help financially excluded people access free money advice. The “Now Let's Talk Money” campaign will direct them to suitable bank accounts, local trusted sources of affordable credit and confidential advice.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether recipients of local housing allowance will be able to receive payments into post office card accounts after April 2008; and if he will make a statement. (178604)

No. The Post Office card account does not have the facility to receive any deposits other than a state benefit.