Housing benefits

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on housing benefits. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

05.11.2014Measures to limit migrants' access to benefits
Following an article by the Prime Minister's in the Financial Times on 27 November 2013 in which he said he shared concerns about the impact of lifting transitional restrictions on the right of Romanian and Bulgarian right to work in the UK from 1 January 2014, the Government has introduced a raft of measures 'to tighten up our EEA migration rules to ensure our welfare system is not taken advantage of.'
29.10.2014Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?
There is some evidence to suggest that private landlords are reluctant to let to prospective tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit. This note explains the reasons for that reluctance and why it is not unlawful.
06.10.2014The impact of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (social rented housing)
One year on from the implementation of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (also referred to as the spare room subsidy or bedroom tax) several bodies published research into its impact. This note summarises some key findings of the ongoing studies into the impact of the under-occupation deduction.
06.10.2014Votes in Parliament on the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit
This note provides information on when divisions (votes) concerning this measure have taken place in the House and on the outcome of those divisions. Details are provided on how the different Parties voted.
22.09.2014Housing Benefit: Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs)
Increasing the level of funding for Discretionary Housing Payments has been one of the ways in which the Government has sought to mitigate the impact of some of the reductions to Housing Benefit entitlement. Emerging evidence on the use of DHPs has raised questions around the adoption of different practices by local authorities. This note explains the funding position and considers evidence (to date) on how DHPs are allocated.

Research Papers

04.01.2013Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill
16.05.2012Local Government Finance Bill 2012-13
This paper summarises the Second Reading and Committee of the Whole House stages of the Local Government Finance Bill 2010-12, which has been carried over into the 2012-13 session. Library Research Paper 12/01, Local Government Finance Bill 2010-12, published for Second Reading on 10 January 2012 in the 2010-12 session, is relevant.
05.01.2012Local Government Finance Bill 2010-12
This Research Paper has been prepared for the second reading of the Local Government Finance Bill 2010-12. The Local Government Finance Bill has been carried over into the 2012-13 session as Bill 4 of 2012/13. The Bill had completed its Committee Stage before the end of the 2010-12 Session and will have its remaining stages on 21 May 2012. Research Paper 12/14 considers the proceedings on the Bill before it was carried over.
08.06.2011Welfare Reform Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Welfare Reform Bill. It complements Research Papers 11/23 and 11/24, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate.
07.03.2011Welfare Reform Bill: Universal Credit provisions
The Welfare Reform Bill provides for the introduction of a 'Universal Credit' to replace a range of existing means-tested benefits and tax credits for people of working age, starting from 2013. The Bill follows the November 2010 White Paper, Universal Credit: welfare that works, which set out the Government's proposals for reforming welfare to improve work incentives, simplify the benefits system and tackle administrative complexity.

Select Committee Reports

15.12.2010Changes to housing benefit announced in the June 2010 Budget.
Work and Pensions Select Committee report [Commons]
13.10.2010Local housing allowance.
Government response. Work and Pensions Select Committee; Department for Work and Pensions report [Commons]
22.03.2010Local housing allowance.
Work and Pensions Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House is concerned that proposals for new fixed-term tenancies for council and housing association tenants, and up to 80 per cent. of market rents for new housing association ...
That this House notes that the Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts 1.36 million people will be claiming jobseeker's allowance at the start of 2013; further notes that in areas ...
That this House notes that the Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts 1.36 million people will be claiming jobseeker's allowance at the start of 2013; further notes that in areas ...
02.12.2010HOUSING (S.I., 2010, No. 2836)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that theRent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) Amendment Order 2010 (S.I., 2010, No. 2836), dated 24 November 2010, a ...
02.12.2010SOCIAL SECURITY (S.I., 2010, No. 2835)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.I., 2010, No. 2835), dated 24 November 2010, a copy of which was ...

Lords Library Notes

03.11.2014Women Facing Homelessness, Domestic Violence and Social Exclusion
On 6 November 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion: 'that this House takes note of women facing homelessness, domestic violence and social exclusion'.
06.02.2013Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill (HL Bill 78 of 2012-13)
The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill implements an announcement by the Chancellor in the 2012 Autumn Statement that increases in certain working-age welfare benefits and tax credits would be limited to 1 percent, rather than increasing them in line with inflation. This Library Note is intended to provide background information in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 11 February 2013.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses