MRAssociates — Knowledge base
We provide the only free knowledge base in the UK dedicated to Supported Exempt Accommodation
In the same topic…
- contentWhy is exempt accommodation exempt from benefit limits?
- contentWhere does the law define “exempt accommodation”?
- contentWhat is the social sector LHA?
- contentWhat is the history of exempt accommodation?
- contentWhat is Supported Exempt Accommodation?
- contentWhat is disguised profit?
- contentWhat is an asset lock?
- contentWhat is a non-metropolitan county council in England?
- contentWhat is a housing association?
- contentWhat is a DWP resettlement grant?
- contentWhat are the benefit limits from which exempt accommodation is exempt?
- contentWhat are the advantages of exempt accommodation?
- contentWhat is a voluntary organisation?
- contentTell me more about registered housing associations and exempt accommodation
- contentTell me more about registered societies
- contentWhat is exempt accommodation?
- contentHow is housing benefit calculated when a person living in exempt accommodation is employed?
- contentHow is Housing Benefit calculated for exempt accommodation?
- contentHow is accommodation “provided by” a social or voluntary sector landlord?
- contentHow does the taper work for employed claimants living in exempt accommodation? (Figures)
- contentWhat is the law on exempt accommodation subsidy?
- contentHow do the housing benefit subsidy arrangements work in exempt accommodation
- contentWhat does “not trading for profit” mean?
- contentSubsidy calculation when the landlord is a charity, voluntary organisation or English non-metropolitan county council
- contentWhich landlords count as being in the social or voluntary sector?
- contentWhat is a registered charity?
- contentCan a not-for-profit body buy goods and services from its own members and directors?
- contentWhere does the law define exempt work?
- contentExamples of subsidy for exempt accommodation
Subsidy calculation when the landlord is a registered housing association
The local authority does not normally refer registered housing association rents to the Rent Officer and so in most cases it gets 100% government subsidy irrespective of whether the accommodation is exempt accommodation - the only exception is where the local authority is using housing association accommodation to discharge a homelessness function, in which case see the heading “Temporary homeless accommodation” below.
Rent referred to Rent Officer
Rarely, the local authority will refer a registered housing association rent to the Rent Officer because in the authority’s opinion the rent charged for the accommodation is unreasonably high. What then happens depends on whether the accommodation is exempt accommodation:
- If it is exempt accommodation, the Housing Benefit award is not automatically restricted to the Rent Officer’s valuation but 100% subsidy is only paid on benefit up to the level of the CRR with either 60% subsidy or zero subsidy payable on the remainder
- This acts as a strong disincentive to the local authority referring the rent to the Rent Officer in the first place for exempt accommodation provided by a registered housing association
- If it is not exempt accommodation Housing Benefit is limited to the lower of the CRR and Local Reference Rent and the Council receives 100% subsidy
60% or zero?
The 60% subsidy rate on benefit above the CRR only applies where the local authority has been unable to restrict the rent used in the benefit calculation for either of the following reasons:
- Protected groups (the main reason why rent cannot be restricted in exempt accommodation)
- The claimant or a member of the claimant’s family belongs to one of three protected groups (often referred to by benefit practitioners as the “vulnerable categories”) (see below) and
- Either there is no suitable cheaper accommodation available, or there is but it is unreasonable to expect the claimant to move to it
- Temporary protection (a less common reason why rent cannot be restricted in exempt accommodation)
- The claimant was able to afford their rent when the liability commenced and it is less than 13 weeks since the start of the benefit award, or
- A member of the family or a relative who lived in the claimant’s current dwelling has died within the last 12 months
In all other cases there is zero subsidy from central government on the part of the benefit award above the CRR.
The protected groups (or “vulnerable categories” as practitioners often call them):
- A person who has reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit
- A person who is officially recognised by the Department for Work and Pensions as being unfit for work - usually such a person will be receiving Employment and Support Allowance
- A person who is responsible for a child or “young person”
- A “young person” means a teenager who has reached the age of 16 but is still in non-advanced education and regarded as a dependant for Child Benefit purposes
Temporary homeless accommodation
If a local authority uses housing association accommodation, including accommodation leased or licensed from a third party by the housing association, to provide temporary accommodation for homeless people it is possible that the accommodation will also satisfy the definition of “exempt accommodation”.
- If the accommodation is both exempt accommodation and temporary homeless accommodation, the exempt accommodation subsidy rules apply (which in turn means the local authority will receive 100% central government subsidy unless it is one of those rare cases where the rent is referred to the Rent Officer)
- If the temporary homeless accommodation is not also exempt accommodation, subsidy is based on the Local Housing Allowance rates that applied in 2011