This report is the first published output demonstrating the payment of Housing Benefit (HB) directly to social rented sector tenants.
This report is the first published output from the independent evaluation of Direct Payment Demonstration Projects (DPDPs) in six areas in Great Britain demonstrating the payment of Housing Benefit (HB) directly to social rented sector tenants: The research took place in May-June 2012 and involved face to face survey of 1639 tenants in the five project areas: ‘Oxford’, ‘Southwark’, ‘Shropshire’, ‘Torfaen’ and ‘Wakefield.’ The report does not include data from the sixth project area, Edinburgh, as implementation and research activity there started later than the other areas.
The survey aims to provide a before the Demonstration Projects going ‘live’, with regard to issues such as: tenants’ awareness of, and attitudes towards direct payments; their financial history, circumstances and capability and their perception about the likely impact of direct payment of HB to them. The findings will help the demonstration project areas better understand their tenants, design the support for tenants both for setting up and managing direct payments and identify characteristics associated with high level of debt and rent arrears and are also being fed into the design of Universal Credit for phase 1, in particular payment exceptions and personal budgeting support.
Apart from the baseline survey that this report is based on, the evaluation includes analysis of landlords’ rent accounts and management costs, longitudinal qualitative studies with tenants and local stakeholders, and a follow-up survey of tenants.