HC Deb 08 July 1996 vol 281 c63W
Mr. Waterson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement concerning the proposed Housing Benefit (General) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 1996. [36448]

Mr. Lilley

I submitted these draft regulations for the Social Security Advisory Committee's consideration in April. They were intended to ensure that, as a general rule, housing benefit would meet service charges only where the service relates to the adequacy of accommodation as a dwelling.

I have carefully considered the representations that I have received. These indicate that significant amounts of housing benefit may be being paid in respect of personal services in supported accommodation. I have concluded that the sudden removal of this source of income may cause significant difficulties for many vulnerable people in supported accommodation. I have therefore decided to withdraw the draft regulations, and I am commissioning an urgent inter-departmental review of the arrangements for funding supported accommodation. When the review is complete I will consider what legislation might be appropriate.

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