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Housing Benefit

Volume 552: debated on Monday 5 November 2012

The demonstration projects are testing direct payment of housing benefit to social rented sector tenants in six areas across England, Scotland and Wales. Their purpose is primarily to help people manage their rent in advance of a move into work and the introduction of universal credit. We have commissioned an independent action research-based evaluation of the projects, and the results of initial research will be published in early December.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer. Will he elucidate on some early learning that has come from the second learning report, which was recently published via the learning network?

That is a lot of learnings, but I will do my level best to help my hon. Friend. I shall tell him what we know so far. Some of these are early figures, but interestingly, after all the scaremongering about how people would be unable to cope, which, as we know from the local housing allowance, is not the case, the centre at Sheffield Hallam university has found so far that only 2%—less than people thought—of claimants moved because of eviction or a landlord refusing housing to housing benefit tenants, and few claimants gave financial reasons for actually moving. So we are making some good discoveries. We are on the right track and heading in the right direction.