Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the merits of direct payment of housing benefit to private landlords.
Steve Webb (Minister of State (Pensions), Work and Pensions; Thornbury and Yate, Liberal Democrat)
We are conducting a review of the first two years’ operation of the local housing allowance to monitor its impact at a national level. The review aims to cover a range of issues that are likely to be of interest to landlords, including direct payment to tenants and the operation of the safeguards for tenants who are unable or unlikely to manage their rental payments. An in-depth focus group study of landlords concerning their attitudes to, and experiences of, the local housing allowance scheme will be included. The review is due to report in the later in the year.