Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ros in the Lords: Written Question - Housing Benefit

Here's another of Ros's interventions that I hadn't covered, from 11 October 2011...

The talk of encouraging council tenants to purchase their own homes struck both Ros and I as nonsense on stilts, especially given the council housing is now only really available for those in relatively difficult financial straits. So, it seemed obvious to find out just how credible a proposal this was...

Baroness Scott of Needham Market (Liberal Democrat)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of council house tenants are in receipt of housing benefit.

Lord Freud (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Welfare Reform), Work and Pensions; Conservative)

Housing benefit recipients, local authority tenants, as a percentage of local authority dwellings stock - June 2011

HB LA caseload as a percentage of LA households: Great Britain 64.9

Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE).

Households data source is the HSSA annual return submitted by each local authority.


1. The percentage has been rounded to one decimal place.

2. Housing benefit recipients are based on benefit level and not household and as such may include more than one person at the same address who claim independently.

3. Percentages have been calculated using household statistics for LAs (2009) published at:

4. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns.

In other words, two-thirds of local authority tenants are on housing benefit. How on Earth do Conservatives think that they could afford to buy their homes, regardless of the discount?

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