Paying for rented housing: non-dependant deductions from Housing Benefit

Authors: Sharon Witherspoon, Claire Whyley, Elaine Kempson
Funded by: Department of Social Security
Published by: HMSO
Publication date: 1996
Report number: DSS Research Report No 43
ISBN: 0117623709

Claimants of Housing Benefit who share their homes with adults other than their husbands, wives or partners may be liable for a reduction in the benefit, due to non-dependant deductions. The rationale for the deductions is that it is appropriate for these other adults (‘non-dependants’) to contribute towards housing costs that would otherwise be met from public funds.

This research presents the findings of a study of households affected by non-dependant deductions from Housing Benefit. The characteristics of such households are explored, as are financial relationships between claimants and non-dependants, the effects of non-dependant deductions on households, and people’s awareness and understanding of the deductions. The research is based upon in-depth interviews amongst households affected by non-dependant deductions, quantitative surveys of claimants and their non-dependants, and interviews with local authority Housing benefit managers.

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