Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.

Housing Benefit: Background
Housing Benefit is a means tested benefit paid by Local Authorities to help people on low incomes to meet the cost of rented accommodation.

There are two main sets of Housing Benefit Regulations:

1.The Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 2006 – often referred to as the HB working age Regulations.

2.The Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006 – often referred to as the HB state pension credit age or HB (SPC) Regulations.

For more information see this page.

NOTE: New claims for HB can only be made by claimants who:

Everyone else, not currently getting Housing Benefit, who needs help to pay rent and certain service charges, will need to claim Universal Credit. 
But note, currently someone already getting Housing Benefit will only need to move over to UC under certain changes in circumstance. Click here for what changes 'triggers' a new claim for Universal Credit

An award of HB helps the claimant pay the rent for the property occupied by their family. The calculation takes into account the circumstances of the claimant, their partner (if they have one), their dependent children (if they have any) and any 'non-dependants' that live with them.

To claim Housing Benefit:
  • the claimant (and their partner) must meet the long list of qualifying conditions, eg have joint savings below £16,000 (unless getting Guarantee Pension Credit), and
  • the claimant (or their partner) must be liable to pay rent on a property (or be treated as liable), and
  • the claimant must occupy that property as their home (or be treated as occupying it), and
  • the claimant must fit into one of the categories of people who can make a new claim for HB rather than UC (as listed above).

Click on the links below for more information.

Claims and Payments

Who can claim, how to claim, and how is HB paid?

Rent Issues

What counts as rent, special rules for supported housing, moving home, two homes etc etc..

How Much

How much HB will someone get. What counts as income. Special Rules for Tax Credits.

Changes in Circs

How do change affect a HB award such as starting work, having a baby.........


What happens when someone is overpaid HB - how can it be recovered? 

Challenging Decisions

How do you challenge a HB decision and which ones should you challenge?

people from Abroad

Which people from abroad can claim HB? What to do if they are refused.


Ideas for particular situations to make maximise entitlement and resolve problems.