Brentwood Borough Council

Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 7952

Housing Benefit

Request

· How many tenants who are or have been subject to the social sector size criteria in the Brentwood Borough Council area would fall to be exempt from the social sector size criteria because they have a pre-1996 tenancy and have been continuously in receipt of Housing benefit since 01.01.1996 as defined by DWP in HB Bulletin U1/2014.

Response

We have not been able to identify individual claimants who have been affected due to the nature of the drafting error in the regulations that introduced social sector size criteria (bedroom tax / removal of spare room subsidy). The reason we have not been able to identify the claimants affected is because our Housing Benefit system does not go back to 1996. As there has been significant publicity surrounding this drafting error a number of claimants have come approached the Council. In these cases we have been able to match their details against their Council Tax records at their specific request.

We are currently investigating the possibility of a wider data matching exercise and our software supplier is working on a tool to with this, this will aid the identification of any claimants who may be affected by the drafting error. We will still need to investigate the circumstances of the individuals concerned because the drafting error is limited to people who have been or can be treated as continuously entitled to Housing Benefit from or before 1/1/1996