Those involved in planning or delivering supported housing are acutely aware that the way the benefits system provides assistance with housing costs depends on whether the accommodation is deemed to be exempt or not. The DWP has been under pressure to review the criteria underpinning exemption from various aspects of welfare reform. It is likely that in the longer term the way the benefits system assists with supported housing costs will look quite different. The way that temporary accommodation is dealt with by the benefits system will change under Universal Credit and assistance will be restricted.
Peter Meehan, a leading expert on housing benefit and COSLA adviser, led the discussion about how supported accommodation and temporary housing would be treated under the new legislation.