Housing and Social Security Stakeholder Group minutes: November 2016

Minutes, agenda and papers of the meeting of the Housing and Social Security Group held on 29 November 2016.

Attendees and apologies


  • Robert Aldridge – Homeless Action Scotland
  • Yvette Burgess – Housing Support Enabling Unit
  • Elaine Byrne – SHN
  • Tony Cain – ALACHO
  • Ashley Campbell – CIH Scotland
  • June Deans – SLGP (GCC)
  • Aoife Deery – Shelter Scotland
  • Ann Marie Devlin – NG Homes
  • Jeremy Hewer – SFHA
  • Catherine Louch – Prospect HA
  • Michael McClements – COSLA
  • Hanna McCulloch – CPAG
  • Rhona McGrath – Renfrewshire Council
  • Sharon McIntyre – Wheatley Group
  • Shona Mitchell – SFHA
  • Rita Smart – Regional Tenant Organisation Network
  • Rhiannon Sims – CAS

Scottish Government

  • Owen Griffiths (Chair)
  • Stephanie Criddle
  • Marion Gibbs
  • Susan Gilroy
  • Josie Knowles
  • Angela O’Brien
  • Ann Marie Stanley
  • Ruth Whatling

Items and actions

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

Update on Welfare Reform

Benefit Cap

  1. Owen advised that Ministers had written to the UK Government to raise concerns about the impact of the lower Benefit Cap and confirmed that it would be taken into account as part of the DHP allocations for 2017/18.
  2. The group discussed the impact of the lower cap and agreed to share existing analysis (CIH’s analysis is available online), but felt that further more detailed analysis may be helpful.

    Local Housing Allowance

  3. Stephanie highlighted the changes announced by the UK Government to their plans to apply the LHA to the social rented sector. The group raised a number of concerns about this policy, particularly around the implications for homelessness in Scotland, and felt that more action was needed.


  4. Owen provided a brief update on the policy around entitlement to the housing element of universal credit for 18-21 year olds and advised that the DWP had shared draft regulations with some stakeholders, but that these could not be circulated more widely. The Social Security Advisory Committee have reviewed the draft regulations and the minutes (item 3, pp. 8-17) of the relevant meeting are available, and give some further information.
    AP1: Owen to check if the regulations could be shared with the Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group.

    Social Security Consultation

  5. Stephanie thanked members for responding to the Social Security consultation and advised that the analysis had not yet been received. No further consultation on the legislation is planned before the Social Security Bill is introduced. The consultation analysis will be published early next year and further opportunity to provide feedback will be available in future.
  6. Members 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.
  7. For updates on social security and details about any upcoming events, members can sign up for the social security newsletter by going to: http://register.scotland.gov.uk/Subscribe/Step1 and selecting the 'Social Security Powers' option.

    Supported Accommodation

  8. Owen encourage the group to look at the supported accommodation consultation and evidence review recently published by the DWP. He confirmed that the Scottish Government is committed to working on developing the new funding model to ensure the funding devolved is fair and will consider whether further research is required in light of the DWP’s evidence review.

    DHP Guidance

  9. Stephanie outlined the Scottish Government’s plans for DHP guidance in both 2017/18 and the longer-term, and welcomed feedback on the proposal paper which had been circulated. Members highlighted the importance of the guidance in maintaining consistency while protecting discretion around decision-making.
  10. Anyone interested in getting involved in the development of DHP guidance should contact Stephanie (0131 244 3390 or Stephanie.Criddle@gov.scot

    Next meeting

  11. The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 24 January 2017 in Edinburgh at 1.30pm, with the following meeting taking place in Atlantic Quay, Glasgow on Tuesday 25 April 2017 at 1.30pm.
DHP Guidance Proposal Paper.pdf


Email: owen.griffiths@gov.scot

Telephone: 0300 244 4000

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

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