(2) what his estimate is of the number of cases that will be in receipt of the local housing allowance where the rent is paid directly to the claimant in 2008.
The local housing allowance applied nationally to new claims and to those who move address from 7 April 2008. The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that 45 to 60 per cent. of Housing Benefit cases in the deregulated private rented sector will be subject to the local housing allowance in 2008-09. This would represent between 370,000 and 500,000 housing benefit cases.
In the local housing allowance pathfinder areas direct payments to claimants rose from 50 to 84 per cent. If direct payments to claimants rise nationally to a similar extent (for example to 80 per cent.), we expect approximately 300,000 to 400,000 local housing allowance cases will be paid their rent directly.