HC Deb 26 November 2001 vol 375 c705W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what changes have been made to housing benefit to support the policy that 16 to 17-year-old lone parents should be housed in semi-independent adult-supervised accommodation. [7907]

Malcolm Wicks

The Social Exclusion Unit report on Teenage Pregnancy recommended that parents under 18 years old who are unable to remain at home with their parents are provided with supported housing.

This will be achieved by using existing accommodation, with on-site or floating support, and the provision of new purpose-built facilities mainly provided by Registered Social Landlords.

So far the Housing Corporation has approved funding for over 720 new supported units, estimated to constitute between a third and a half of the total additional supported accommodation needed for full implementation of the policy. They are currently considering a further round of bids.

After careful consideration we concluded that, pending further progress in providing supported housing, it would not be appropriate to make changes to the Housing Benefit entitlement of 16 to 17-year-old lone parents at the present time.

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