Housing and Social Security Stakeholder Group minutes: February 2017

Minutes, agenda and papers of the meeting of the Housing and Social Security Stakeholder Group, held on 14 February 2017.

Attendees and apologies


  • Jules Oldham– Homeless Action Scotland
  • Caitlin McCorry – ALACHO
  • Ashley Campbell – CIH Scotland
  • Gillian Evans – SLGP (GCC)
  • Aoife Deery – Shelter Scotland
  • Michael McClements – COSLA
  • Hanna McCulloch – CPAG
  • Emma Sheilds– Renfrewshire Council
  • Sharon McIntyre – Wheatley Group
  • Rob Gowans– CAS
  • Beth Reid – Crisis
  • Moira Couper – Edinburgh City Council
  • David Bookbinder - GWSF

Scottish Government

  • Owen Griffiths (Chair)
  • Susan Carsley
  • Ruth Whatling
  • Marjory McDowall
  • Yvonne Harris

Items and actions

Owen Griffiths welcomed members to the meeting and the minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.

Action points from last meeting (29 November 2016)

At the last meeting group highlighted the links between the H&SS group and other SG social security stakeholder groups including the Ill Health and Disability Benefits Stakeholder Reference Group.

AP2: The H&SS group’s remit will be updated to reflect these links.

Discretionary Housing Payments

2016/17 – Update

Owen summarised the funding position for the current year 16/17. Final payments will be made after the end of the year in respect of actual spend incurred by local authorities.

2017/18 – Update

Owen updated the group on plans for DHP funding in 2017-18. This will be the first year of funding following the devolution of responsibility for DHPs as from 1 April 2017. The distribution of funding to local authorities has been agreed with COSLA Leaders. The group discussed a SG paper on this agenda item which set out how the local authority allocations had been worked out and the arrangements for payments to local authorities.

As this is the first year of devolved responsibility, the SG priority has been to ensure a smooth transfer and it has therefore adopted a similar approach to last year to allocating DHP funding.

DHP Guidance – paper

A sub group of the HSS Group has been working on reviewing the DWP’s DHP guidance in light of responsibility being devolved to SG.

AP: – The group agreed to provide SG with feedback on comments on the latest draft by end March. It was suggested that the guidance should contain references to referrals to advice services and housing options.

Future plans for improving DHPs

It was noted that LAs don’t have access to the same information about UC claims as they have for HB claims which makes administration of DHPs under UC more difficult. The issue has been raised with DWP.

Local Housing Allowance – UK changes

Owen gave a presentation to the group on UKG’s proposed changes to the Local Housing Allowance. The group noted particular concerns about impact on under 35 year olds in temporary accommodation.

The Group also noted the need to look at all the welfare reforms as a whole rather than simply reacting to individual policies so that any actions taken by SG fit with Ministers overall priorities e.g. increasing access to affordable housing.


HB for 18-21 year olds

Group members had questions about the UKG’s proposed changes to entitlement to support for housing costs for 18-21 year olds from 1 April 2017. SG will update the group at the next meeting by which time it is hoped more information will be available.

Next meeting

The next meeting will take place take place in Atlantic Quay, Glasgow on Tuesday 25 April 2017 at 2.00 pm.


Email: owen.griffiths@gov.scot

Telephone: 0300 244 4000

Housing and Social Security Collaborative
Scottish Government
Housing, Regeneration and Welfare
Better Homes
Victoria Quay

Back to top