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Benefits: Housing

Volume 688: debated on Wednesday 24 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why housing benefit cannot be paid direct into a Post Office card account. [HL1282]

The Government believe that, where possible, payments of housing benefit and local housing allowance should be paid direct to tenants, as are most other benefits and tax credits. To support financial inclusion we want people to have their housing payments paid into a bank account and to set up a direct debit or standing order to pay the rent to their landlord. This has the advantage of being a safe and secure method of payment and provides certainty for landlords that rent will be paid.

The Post Office card account was designed to be a very simple account with very limited functions. It does not have the facility for the account holder to set up direct debit or standing order payments and is therefore unsuitable to receive payments of housing benefit or local housing allowance.