§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the very sheltered housing scheme is intended to provide a replacement for Housing Benefit. 
§ Angela Eagle
[holding answer 8 January 2001]: Housing Benefit is available to help people on low incomes, including those tenants living in sheltered or very sheltered accommodation to meet their housing costs (ie rent and accommodation-related service charges). Housing Benefit will also continue to help meet service charges for lower-level support until April 2003. From this date, the various funding streams will be drawn together and these support services will instead be met from a single budget—Supporting People—which will be managed by local authorities together with probation services. Service charges for more intensive personal support, including personal care, remain ineligible for Housing Benefit.