Under-occupation subsidy

Scrutiny of YHN's response to under-occupation subsidy was requested by Newcastle City Council and YHN.

The panel carried out a review of documentary evidence submitted by YHN on the range of processes and actions that YHN took to respond to the government's policy to reduce the housing benefit allowance for those tenants under-occupying their home.

You can read the full report here.

The council provided a response to the recommendations of the independent scrutiny panel's report. 

Newcastle City Council's full response can be read here

The summary from the council's response is below:

"The under occupation charge was implemented in April 2013 and all housing providers have had to respond to the Government's Welfare Reform Agenda. In doing this YHN followed good practice from the pilot projects to understand the best approach to support and inform tenants through this process. 

"YHN have considered the recommendations of the scrutiny panel and have responded where appropriate and timely action can be taken. YHN feel that it is unnecessary to revisit many of the recommendations due to the time lapse since the original piece of work of home visits were complete over sixteen months ago and it’s not likely to be a task that they would repeat. 

"The City Council and YHN appreciate the time and efforts of the scrutiny panel and agree that for any future Welfare Reform changes they will involve tenants earlier on in the process to help inform their approach and will use the recommendations outlined in this report to influence future processes. YHN will continue to submit reports to its Board which demonstrates their ongoing commitment to support tenants through the changes to the benefit system and look forward to working with the panel on future scrutiny topics."