Many of the welfare changes have impacts on how housing associations and local authorities work together.
New regulations on the sharing of social security information help local authorities and housing associations work together to identify and assist claimants who are likely to be affected by benefit cuts at an early stage.
A greater emphasis is being placed on local support and local arrangements, with new localised support systems being introduced. Local authorities are designing their own schemes to replace council tax benefit and elements of the discretionary social fund. Local authorities are also responsible for Discretionary Housing Payments which have been increased to deal with the ‘hard cases’ thrown up by various welfare cuts.
Councils will also have an important role to play in supporting claimants under Universal Credit. See the DWP website for more information on pilot schemes which are exploring how claimants can be supported.
The Federation has produced a series of short briefings on the following issues:
- Council tax benefit
- Discretionary Housing Payments
- Localisation of the Social Fund
- Data sharing