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Housing Benefit

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much of the money allocated to each local authority to pay discretionary housing payments was unspent in each year since it was introduced; and if he will make a statement; (220088)

(2) how the amount allocated to each local authority for the payment of discretionary housing payments is calculated; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how much his Department allocated to each local authority for the payment of discretionary housing payments in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement.

The discretionary housing payment fund is allocated to each local authority based on the mid-point between the amount they were allocated and the amount they actually spent in the previous full financial year (e.g. the 2008-09 allocation was calculated using 2006-07 data, as those were the most recent full financial year data that were available at the time of calculation).

Any remaining funding is then distributed across local authorities based on their annually managed expenditure, and their average rent restrictions. 50 per cent. of the remaining funding is allocated based on each local authority’s proportion of overall annually managed expenditure, and the remaining 50 per cent. of the funding is allocated based on each local authority’s average rent restrictions.

The available information on the amount of money allocated to each local authority for discretionary housing payments and the amount of such payments unspent for each local authority has been placed in the Library.