Landlords will find the package contains practical advice on how to make sure that those living in their properties are ready for the new benefit, which is intended to prepare them so it is less of a shock when they move from their payments. One of the key features is that individuals will become responsible for paying their rent themselves, with their housing element due to be made part of the monthly payment they receive.
Minister for welfare reform Lord Freud observed that the scheme is now available in one out of ten Jobcentres around the UK and will be in nearly 100 come Christmas time. National roll-out is due to be pushed through at the start of 2015, with Lord Freud saying: “For the first time many tenants will be paid their Housing Benefit directly and I would encourage landlords to think about identifying tenants who need support to prepare for this, and put those who are ready onto a direct payment early.”
The scheme is being introduced in stages but eligible tenants living in Bath, Hammersmith in London, Harrogate, Inverness, north-west England and Shotton in Wales can currently put in an application. If you don’t live in one of these areas or are otherwise not eligible, you could still claim for other benefits including Jobseeker’s Allowance.