Thursday, 9 March 2017

Perplexing Advice from the DWP

BBC News: Most flat shares refuse benefit claimants

Landlords are more likely to accept potential renters who own pets than people claiming benefits, a BBC investigation has found.

Analysis of some 11,000 online listings for spare rooms found all but a few hundred stated benefit claimants were not welcome.

Campaign groups say it is "naked discrimination" and are calling for a change in the law.

A really important issue is brought up here in this story. Obtaining accomodation can be a really struggle for those reliant on benefits.

What struck me, however, was the perplexing comment offered by the Department of Work and Pensions:

The Department for Work and Pensions said under Universal Credit housing costs and support are paid direct to the tenant, not the landlord. That would mean the only way a landlord would be aware a tenant was in receipt of support would be if the claimant themselves told them.

The issue is that properties are listed as 'No DSS claimants.' Is the DWP advising benefits claimants to take up properties that the landlord has said are not to be offered to those on benefits? What if the landlord asks if the would-be tenant is in employment? Is the DWP actually advising them to lie?

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