Support/Advice - Accessing Accommodation
Accessing Privately Rented Accommodaton
Waiting times for Council & Housing Association properties in Powys can be lengthy and there is limited stock in many areas. The Waiting Time Calculator can be used to find out whether the expectations of individuals who are on the General or Transfer waiting lists for social rented accommodation are realistic or whether renting privately may be a more effective option for them.
Traditionally people leaving supported accommodation have experienced a number of barriers to accessing the private rented sector. These include:
- The reluctance of some landlords to accept housing benefit
- Accessing well managed accommodation
The Landlord Accreditation Wales website provides details of landlords who are accredited and should therefore offer good management standards.
- Security of tenure
- Lack of support
Social Rented Accommodation (Council)
Social rented accommodation in Powys is in short supply and waiting lists are lengthy. The Waiting Time Calculator is an interactive on-line resource which can be used to help individuals who have already applied for social rented accommodation and are on the waiting list to consider whether this is the best option for applicants. It provides information about stock and lettings, and helps individuals to consider whether your area choices and expectations of waiting times are realistic or whether you should consider other options, such as renting privately.
Housing Benefit is paid to people on low incomes to help them to pay their rent. Applications for benefit should be made as promptly as possible as benefit will usually only be paid from the Monday after the form is received by the Council. Applicants for benefit should make sure that all the information required is supplied on the application form, and that all relevant supporting information is enclosed, to avoid delays. If you require any help with this process, please contact the Customer Services Team on 0845 602 7032 or email; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants may be happy to authorise the Housing Benefit Section to share information with their Support Worker (if applicable) to enable them to act on their behalf - there is a section on the application form to facilitate this, or alternatively permission can be requested by the tenant in writing at a later date.
Do not delay - always make a claim!
Remember that any changes in circumstances should always be notified to the Housing Benefit Section.
There are a number of questions that may be asked about Housing Benefit - here are some relevant answers:
How much will be paid?
The maximum amount of Housing Benefit that can be paid to an individual or family depends on the size of property that is needed and is set by Local Housing Allowance rates. The actual amount that will be paid may be less than this as income and savings are taken into account.
Remember that single people under the age of 25 are only entitled to the shared accommodation rate whatever type of accommodation lived in, unless applicants are care leavers under the age of 22 or have a severe disability premium in Housing Benefit, Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (income based).
Who is it paid to?
Housing Benefit is generally paid to the tenant unless there is good reason not to do so, for instance if the tenant has substantial rent arrears or is likely to have difficulty in managing their financial affairs. Support Workers can assist applicants to request payment direct to the landlord, and provide supporting evidence regarding such requests if this would be beneficial. These requests can be submitted with the Housing Benefit application to ensure that, if agreed, payments direct to the landlord are made from the outset.
Is advice available?
Telephone: 01874 614052
Can claims be backdated?
Housing Benefit is usually paid from the Monday after the application form is received by the Council. However backdating may be possible if there is good reason for the claim being delayed, for instance due to health issues, or an inability to deal with their own affairs.