As a follow-up to our previous article on changes to housing benefits, we can bring an update on the implementation of housing benefit reforms. A challenge was brought to the High Court by ten families of disabled people, arguing that the cut in social housing benefit for residents with spare rooms was “unlawfully discriminatory” towards the disabled.
The High Court ruled against the appeal, saying that the policy had been “properly considered” and was based on a “reasonable foundation”. However it did say that the government had not been quick enough to ensure that families with a disabled child who couldn`t share a bedroom were not adversely affected. The ruling was described as “devastating news” by housing charity Shelter, who claimed that it risked increasing homelessness.
The Department of Work and Pensions, on the other hand, has said it is “pleased” with the ruling, describing reform of housing benefit as “essential”. We will continue to bring you further updates on changes to disability benefits as the situation develops.