Housing Benefit Discrimination to be Banned

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Discrimination against tenants claiming housing benefits could be banned in a new move by housing ministers.

Government ministers are set to meet representatives of landlord associations, tenant groups, property websites and mortgage providers in a bid to clamp down on discrimination against people on housing benefit in the private rental sector.

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has said that adverts which specify that a home will not be rented to people on housing benefit could be banned to avoid discrimination against them, and she has called on landlords and letting agents to stop refusing DSS claimants.

The housing minister claimed that latest figures are showing discrimination by around half of private landlords against tenants on housing benefit, as they refuse to rent to them.

She went on to say: ‘I will be meeting key stakeholders to tackle the practice of No DSS, to underline the need for immediate change.’

She also announced that £19.5 million is to be provided to local authorities in England to provide homes for people at risk of losing their or who are already homeless, in order to help people get into the private rental sector.

The funding will go to 54 projects around the country to enable councils to help vulnerable people secure their own tenancy through support such as, paying deposits or putting down the first months’ rent.

Wheeler said: ‘I want everyone to have the security, dignity and opportunities they need to build a better life and at the heart of which is ensuring everyone can find a safe and secure home to call their own.’

In addition to the moves to stop discrimination against housing benefit tenants, local authorities will also be able to bid for a share of up to £26 million of Rapid Rehousing Pathway funding for 2019 to 2020. This extra investment can be used to fund innovative local schemes which help those sleeping rough and struggling with mental health problems or substance misuse issues.

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