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Housing Benefit

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to publish the equality impact assessment relating to the proposed reduction in backdating facilities for housing benefit; and what account the assessment will take of vulnerable groups. (200103)

The equality impact assessment was published on 21 April 2008; a copy has been placed in the Library. It is also available on the Department for Work and Pensions website at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/resourcecentre/PC-HB-CTB-EIA-Apr08.pdf

The assessment considers the potential impact on a range of groups, including the most vulnerable, and proposes steps to mitigate any adverse effects. A publicity campaign will be launched, to raise awareness of the change and to advise tenants to apply for benefit in good time. We will also be working with landlords to encourage them to tackle rent arrears at the earliest possible time as this is often a trigger for a backdating claim.