Inquiry into social security support for housing

The Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee has launched an inquiry into Social Security Support for Housing. The Committee has heard evidence that increasing numbers of people are experiencing hardship due to the rising cost of rent, with the gap between private sector rents and the amount provided by the social security system increasing. 

In their inquiry, the Committee will explore how social security support for housing costs is impacted by welfare reform, with a particular focus on the local housing allowance and Universal Credit housing costs. The Committee will consider how both reserved and devolved social security policy can address issues arising for tenants and landlords, particularly in the private rented sector.

The Committee are seeking input from organisations and individuals to inform their view and are asking for views, on any or all of the following questions:

  • How have changes to the Local Housing Allowance impacted on the private rented sector, particularly for the affordability of rents for young people?


  • To what extent have UK welfare reform measures impacted on private landlords’ willingness to let to those in receipt of social security benefits? (Including for example, the impact of Universal Credit, the benefit freeze and the benefit cap).  


  • How does the administration of Universal Credit Housing Costs impact on the ability of tenants to pay their rent and landlords to administer rent payments? (for example, the impact on rent arrears, communication between landlords and the DWP)


  • How do Universal Credit Scottish Choices and Discretionary Housing Payments impact on the way landlords and tenants handle Universal Credit housing costs?


  • In all of the above, what improvements could be made to reserved and devolved systems, including the way they interact with each other?

If you would like to make a submission, please first read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal data.

Please ensure you use the template provided to format your submission and complete the Data Protection Form which should be returned with your submission.  All submissions should be sent electronically to the following address: by Monday 18 March 2019.

Full details on the inquiry can be found on our webpage:

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