FOI Disclosure Log

Customer Request Details

29 October 2018

I am requesting the following information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Please note that this request *begins with question 5*. There are no questions 1-4; I deleted them from a trial version of this request and, given how much cross-referencing exists between the later questions, I couldn"t be bothered to renumber the rest of the request.

Some councils have ALMOs. I am sending questions 8-19 directly to ALMOs. If any other questions should be handled by the council"s ALMO rather than the council itself, please forward those questions to the ALMO as well.

Bedroom tax

This section is heavily dependent on the data the council routinely records. Therefore, if the information for any question from 5-7 is not routinely recorded, please mark the question as "information not held" and fulfil the remainder of this request.

5. How many households are currently subject to the Spare Room Subsidy ("bedroom tax")?

6. Of the households that are currently subject to the Spare Room Subsidy ("bedroom tax"), how many include a current recipient of Employment Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or the Personal Independence Payment?

7. How many of the households referred to in response to question 6 are recipients of a disabled facilities grant for their current accommodation?

Universal Credit rent arrears

If the council does not have its own council housing or ALMO housing stock, please ignore questions 8-19 and proceed straight to question 20 in the next section.

8. How many council housing tenant households are there overall?

9. Of the households referred to in response to question 8, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least one month?

10. Of the households referred to in response to question 8, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least two months?

PLEASE NOTE - THE FIGURE FOR QUESTION 9 SHOULD INCLUDE THE HOUSEHOLDS REFERRED TO IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION 10.

11. How many council housing tenant households currently receive Housing Benefit (not Universal Credit)?

12. Of the households referred to in response to question 11, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least one month?

13. Of the households referred to in response to question 11, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least two months?

PLEASE NOTE - THE FIGURE FOR QUESTION 12 SHOULD INCLUDE THE HOUSEHOLDS REFERRED TO IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION 13.

14. How many council housing tenant households currently receive Universal Credit?

15. Of the households referred to in response to question 14, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least one month?

16. Of the households referred to in response to question 15, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least two months?

PLEASE NOTE - THE FIGURE FOR QUESTION 15 SHOULD INCLUDE THE HOUSEHOLDS REFERRED TO IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION 16.

17. How many council housing tenant households currently receive Universal Credit, whose Universal Credit claim was opened after 1st April 2018?

With regard to question 17, a claim was "opened" when it started; subsequent alterations to the claim (due to variations in monthly earnings, for example) are irrelevant. Regarding households that moved into the local authority area after 1st April 2018 but had (or may have had) a pre-existing Universal Credit claim already in operation - please categorise these at your discretion, based on what is administratively easiest.

18. Of the households referred to in response to question 17, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least one month?

19. Of the households referred to in response to question 17, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least two months?

PLEASE NOTE - THE FIGURE FOR QUESTION 18 SHOULD INCLUDE THE HOUSEHOLDS REFERRED TO IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION 19.

Social housing refusals

20. In 2017/18, how many households towards whom the council had accepted a main homeless duty had their nomination for housing as a homeless household refused by a social housing landlord (including the council itself)?

21. In 2017/18, how many of the households referred to in response to question 20 had their nomination for housing refused by a social housing landlord on grounds of affordability or limited entitlement to welfare assistance? Please break this figure down by each social landlord if possible.

To provide clarity on questions 20 and 21 - councils accept a main homeless duty to households. They then nominate those households to social housing landlords in order to house them. Social housing landlords can refuse. That refusal might be due to the household failing an assessment of whether they could afford the rent, and/or limited entitlement to welfare assistance (i.e. their benefits won"t cover the rent). This is what questions 20 and 21 are about.

If the council does not record the reason for refusals, please exclude question 21 and fulfil the remainder of this request.

I would like responses via email using the attached spreadsheet. Please contact me if you require any clarifications.



East Herts Council Response

29 October 2018

I am writing to acknowledge your written request for information.

Your request is being considered and you will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information not being exempt or containing reference to a third party.

The Act defines a number of exemptions, which may prevent release of the information you have requested.  There will be an assessment of your request and if any of the exemption categories apply then the information will not be released.  You will be informed if this is the case, including your rights of appeal.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release the information to you.  You will be informed if this is the case.

There may be a fee payable for this information, this will be considered and you will be informed if any fees are payable.  In this event the fee must be paid before the information is processed and released.  The 20 working day time limit for the response is suspended until receipt of payment.

If you have any queries about the processing of your request then please do not hesitate to contact me.

It is important that you include the above FOI reference number on all correspondence related to this request.

Your personal details will be held within out Information Request case management system, and only used for the purposes of evaluating and processing your request.

While details of your information request may be published on the council website, your personal details will never be published or released to anyone outside the council unless it is required by the Information Commissioners Office.

Thank you for your request.

 



East Herts Council Response

26 November 2018

Thank you for your request for information, this has now been processed and the information that we hold is enclosed.

Bedroom tax

This section is heavily dependent on the data the council routinely records. Therefore, if the information for any question from 5-7 is not routinely recorded, please mark the question as "information not held" and fulfil the remainder of this request.

5. How many households are currently subject to the Spare Room Subsidy ("bedroom tax")? 322 Claims

6. Of the households that are currently subject to the Spare Room Subsidy ("bedroom tax"), how many include a current recipient of Employment Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or the Personal Independence Payment? 181 Claims

7. How many of the households referred to in response to question 6 are recipients of a disabled facilities grant for their current accommodation? We do not hold information in this format

Universal Credit rent arrears

If the council does not have its own council housing or ALMO housing stock, please ignore questions 8-19 and proceed straight to question 20 in the next section. We hold no housing stock

8. How many council housing tenant households are there overall?

9. Of the households referred to in response to question 8, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least one month?

10. Of the households referred to in response to question 8, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least two months?

PLEASE NOTE - THE FIGURE FOR QUESTION 9 SHOULD INCLUDE THE HOUSEHOLDS REFERRED TO IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION 10.

11. How many council housing tenant households currently receive Housing Benefit (not Universal Credit)?

12. Of the households referred to in response to question 11, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least one month?

13. Of the households referred to in response to question 11, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least two months?

PLEASE NOTE - THE FIGURE FOR QUESTION 12 SHOULD INCLUDE THE HOUSEHOLDS REFERRED TO IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION 13.

14. How many council housing tenant households currently receive Universal Credit?

15. Of the households referred to in response to question 14, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least one month?

16. Of the households referred to in response to question 15, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least two months?

PLEASE NOTE - THE FIGURE FOR QUESTION 15 SHOULD INCLUDE THE HOUSEHOLDS REFERRED TO IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION 16.

17. How many council housing tenant households currently receive Universal Credit, whose Universal Credit claim was opened after 1st April 2018?

With regard to question 17, a claim was "opened" when it started; subsequent alterations to the claim (due to variations in monthly earnings, for example) are irrelevant. Regarding households that moved into the local authority area after 1st April 2018 but had (or may have had) a pre-existing Universal Credit claim already in operation - please categorise these at your discretion, based on what is administratively easiest.

18. Of the households referred to in response to question 17, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least one month?

19. Of the households referred to in response to question 17, how many are currently in arrears on their rent by at least two months?

PLEASE NOTE - THE FIGURE FOR QUESTION 18 SHOULD INCLUDE THE HOUSEHOLDS REFERRED TO IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION 19.

Social housing refusals

20. In 2017/18, how many households towards whom the council had accepted a main homeless duty had their nomination for housing as a homeless household refused by a social housing landlord (including the council itself)?We do not hold this information

21. In 2017/18, how many of the households referred to in response to question 20 had their nomination for housing refused by a social housing landlord on grounds of affordability or limited entitlement to welfare assistance? Please break this figure down by each social landlord if possible. We do not hold this information

If you have any queries or complaint about the processing of your request please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Alternatively for more information on the Freedom of Information Act contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone 0303 123 1113

https://ico.org.uk/

 

It is important that you include the above FOI reference number on all correspondence related to this request.

 

Thank you for your request.