Under current arrangements Housing Benefit (HB) is paid to the landlord rather than the tenant in the great majority of cases. However, along with 5 other social security benefits, HB is being incorporated into Universal Credit (UC). The housing component of UC is based on the present system of HB. However, because UC is paid as a single sum of money, the housing component by default will be paid to the tenant and not directly to the landlord.
The Direct Payment Demonstration Projects (DPDP) were established in 6 local authority areas in 2012 to test the direct payment of Housing Benefit to tenants living in social housing.
The projects were ‘live’ from June 2012 to December 2013.
The Department for Work and Pensions commissioned the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, in partnership with the University of Oxford and Ipsos MORI, to monitor and evaluate the projects; in order to learn lessons from DPDP to provide feedback into the implementation of the projects and the design of Universal Credit. The evaluation began in November 2012 and will conclude later in 2014.
This package of reports consists of an overarching 12 month extended learning report, which summarises the main findings from all the strands of research and analysis at the 12 month stage.
This is supplemented by 3 other technical reports:
- rent ‘underpayment’ in DPDP
- 12 months rent account analysis exercise
- stage 2 survey of tenants