§ Mrs. Beckett
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he intends to take to ensure that local authorities which are eligible to operate a high rent scheme under the system of housing benefit but have not yet applied for authorisation are encouraged to apply.
§ Mr. Newton
The conditions for authorisation of high rent schemes have been brought to the attention of all local authorities. Whether to apply is entirely a matter for local decision.
§ Sir Geoffrey Finsberg
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to introduce the amendments to the housing benefit regulations referred to in his reply to the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Neale) on 16 November, Official Report, column 381.
§ Mr. Newton
The Housing Benefit Amendment (No. 4) Regulations were laid before the House today. The regulations close the unintended loophole in the housing benefit regulations which allowed a grown-up son or daughter living at home to receive a rent allowance for the rent element of any board and lodging payment made to his or her parents. They also introduce measures to prevent abuse of the scheme by the creation of joint tenancies and correct a defect in the regulations which prevented former licencees from receiving help with payments they have to make if they continue to occupy their accommodation after the licence to occupy has been terminated.