Direct payment of housing benefit: responsibilisation at what cost to landlords?

WILSON, Ian (2019). Direct payment of housing benefit: responsibilisation at what cost to landlords? International journal of housing policy.

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Income-related housing allowances are used by most advanced welfare states to ensure their citizens have access to decent accommodation at a price within their means. Surprisingly, whether the subsidy should be paid to the claimant or direct to the landlord has attracted little attention, despite differences existing between countries. This paper uses data collected as part of the evaluation of the Direct Payment Demonstration Projects (DPDPs) in Great Britain to test the impact on rent collection and arrears of paying Housing Benefit to tenants, as oppose to the landlord direct. The DPDPs aimed to provide learning in readiness for the introduction of Universal Credit, which sees six separate benefits consolidated into one monthly payment made to the claimant. Using quasi-experimental rent account analysis techniques direct payment was found to have a significant negative effect on both rent collection and arrears, with the proportion of rent collected reduced by 5.5 percentage points. However evidence suggested the longer term impact may be smaller as tenants become more 'responsiblised'.These findings make an important contribution to the major theoretical debate on the effectiveness of using welfare policy to promote 'responsibilisation,' which has become the dominant discourse since the mid-late 1990's.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: United Kingdom; Welfare Policy; Housing Allowance; Direct Payment; Responsibilisation; Rent Arrears
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2019 12:36
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 15:15

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