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Housing Benefit

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the effect of the proposed reduction in backdating facilities for housing benefit on (a) eviction levels and (b) homelessness. (200093)

The Department for Work and Pensions works closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government on a wide range of issues, including the impact of housing benefit policy on people who are homeless or at risk of

homelessness.

The Department for Communities and Local Government are aware of the proposed reduction in backdating timescales for housing benefit and council tax benefit claims and have seen a copy of the impact assessment. Officials from both Departments are working together to mitigate any impacts by undertaking an awareness-raising campaign among landlords, local authorities, customers and welfare rights agencies. Work on this is well underway and it is clear that a high proportion of stakeholders are already aware of the planned changes.