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Written by Claire Munro Wednesday, 26 January 2011 13:20The SFHA has welcomed the news that the House of Lords is to conduct a review of the UK Government's planned Housing Benefits reforms (1), but cautioned that it must be independent and transparent.
The SFHA's campaign, Housing Benefits (2), aims to highlight the detrimental impact the UK Government's proposed reforms will have on tenants in the affordable housing sector, especially proposals for those deemed to be "under-occupying" their homes and a 10% cut for those on Job Seekers Allowance for more than one year.
SFHA Chief Executive Mary Taylor said:
"The SFHA welcomes the announcement of a review by the House of Lords into these potentially damaging and unfair reforms to Housing Benefit.
"However, we await more details of who will be carrying out the review, and how. It is important that the review is truly independent, to ensure impartial results, and it must be fairly swift, in order to have any chance of influencing the Government's plans. We would also have liked to have seen more focus within the review on housing associations, co-operatives and their tenants. We will continue to make these points to Government through our Housing Benefits campaign."
Ms Taylor concluded:
"These reforms have the potential to impact disproportionately on some of the most vulnerable people in our society and should be scrutinised more closely. The SFHA wants to see politicians, policy makers and practitioners working together to develop a fairer system of supporting the vulnerable."
Visit our website at www.sfha.co.uk
1) Welfare Minister Lord Freud announced in the House of Lords that there will be an Independent Review of the changes proposed to housing benefit, specifically focussing on:
-Homelessness and moves
- The shared room rate and houses in multiple occupation
- What is happening in Greater London
- What is happening in rural communities
- What is happening in black and minority ethnic households
- Large families
- Older people, and
- People with disabilities and working claimants.
2) Find out more about the campaign at http://www.sfha.co.uk/sfha/current-campaigns/housing-benefit/menu-id-90.html
3) The SFHA was established in 1975 and has around 170 members providing affordable housing and wider community services in Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial members. The SFHA is owned by its membership and exists to support the work of housing associations and co-operatives in Scotland by providing services, advice and good practice guidance.
4) The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing Associations own and manage around 40% of the country's affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
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