Housing and Welfare Reform
The UK Government is implementing a major programme of reform to the welfare system. Although welfare is a reserved matter, these measures impact on policy areas which are devolved to the Scottish Government such as health, social care and housing.
Changes to Housing Benefit include cuts to Housing Benefit in the private and social rented sectors and, through Universal Credit, the introduction of direct payments of housing costs to tenants in the social sector.
Scottish Government Response
The Scottish Government is doing what it can within the limits of its powers to protect vulnerable people in Scotland and support people and organisations affected by the reforms. This includes providing funding to councils to fully mitigate the bedroom tax through Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs).
Scotland Bill 2015-16
Power to vary the housing cost element of Universal Credit (including varying the under-occupancy charge) is set to be devolved to the Scottish Government through the Scotland Bill. Scottish Ministers are committed to using these powers to abolish the 'bedroom tax' as soon as possible.
Help and Advice
If you’re concerned about how you are being affected by welfare reforms, you can get free, independent help and advice from a number of sources including:
Your council may also be able to help or tell you where to get help.