Welfare reform: Under occupation of social housing and the benefit cap


The Borough of Poole is amending the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) policy to accommodate changes in benefit rules that are being introduced by Central Government as part of the Welfare Reform Agenda from April 2013. 

The changes to housing benefit rules and the introduction of the benefit cap have been specified by Central Government. Although the Borough of Poole can not give blanket protection to any particular groups, an understanding of impacts on different groups will help with targeting mitigating actions.

This paper provides information on the local impact of reductions in housing benefit for households under occupying social housing and the benefit cap. A separate paper is available that provides information on the impacts of the Local Council Tax Support Scheme for Poole that will also to be introduced from April 2013.

Key findings

Under occupation of social housing:

  • 730 households will have a reduction in housing benefit because they are under occupying a socially rented property
  • 1 in 4 (178) meet the definition of vulnerable groups used when preparing the Borough's Council Tax Support Scheme. Vulnerable claimant households are those with a disability or recognised caring responsibilities
  • the average weekly financial impact for affected claimant households will be £15.77 per week, £820.04 per annum

Benefit cap:

  • 78 households will be affected by the benefit cap
  • 2 in 5 (29) meet the definition of vulnerable groups 
  • the average weekly financial impact for affected households will be £76.73 per week, £3,989.96 per annum.

Contact us


01202 633306

Corporate Research Team
Civic Centre
BH15 2RU 

Page last updated: 05 June 2019
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