§ Mr. Wheeler
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied that the rent rebate and allowance schemes continue to afford adequate protection to those with high rents; and when the provisions of the Housing Act 1980 relating to these schemes will be brought into effect.
§ Mr. Stanley
To ensure that tenants with high rents are not denied full benefits from the rent rebate and allowance schemes, particularly in London, we propose that the maximum limits for the assistance payable should be raised. After consultation with the Advisory Committee on Rent Rebates and Rent Allowances, we propose to increase the maximum rent rebate and rent allowance payments from £23 to £30 per week outside London and from £25 to £35 per week in London as from 1 April.
In addition, the rent rebate and allowance provisions of the Housing Act 1980 will come into effect on 1 April. Under section 118 and schedule 15, the following groups will become eligible for rent rebates or allowances for the first time:
- (a) those who occupy council dwellings under licence agreements;
- (b) those living in hostels in both the public and the private sectors who are not eligible already;
- (c) those who share private accommodation, with no right of exclusive occupation;
- (d) those who become assured tenants under section 56 of the Act; and
- (e) tenants of fully mutual co-operatives.
To provide further help for low-income tenants in the private sector, rent allowances as from 1 April will no longer be based on the estimated fair rent where the fair rent has not been, or cannot be, registered; it will instead be based on the actual rent being paid less any amount which the local authority considers to be unreasonable.