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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Welfare Reform: Bedroom tax challenge fails & DWP confirms housing sanctions

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court ruling which found that the Bedroom Tax discriminates against people with disabilities yet held that this discrimination was justified.

The legal challenge to the bedroom tax and the benefits cap was mounted by a group of disabled tenants and backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.   The group is now considering the merits of an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Court found that the new housing benefit rules did not provide for the accommodation needs of people with disabilities.  However, the court felt that the discretionary housing payments package, put in place by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, was sufficient to meet the additional needs of these people.

Housing benefit sanctions

Inside Housing reports today that the housing element of Universal Credit will become subject to sanctions.  Currently, sanctions can only be applied to out-of-work benefits like Jobseekers Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance.

The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed to Inside Housing that a tenant who is working less than 35 hours a week at minimum wage and who is not eligible for JSA or ESA may have the housing element of their benefit sanctioned if they are not doing enough to find full time work.

Further reading on Universal Credit

Check out our professional resource on Managing the Impact of Universal Credit.

Tagged In

Welfare Reform, Affordability

This article was written on 27 February 2014. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.