Archive for January, 2009

Nic Madge, yup the the same chap as the chap whose name is on the books on your desk :), has a new(ish) website that is a jolly useful resource for housing advisers. Go visit it HERE and have an explore.

Nearly has already mentioned it but I thought it most worthy of another post.


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Paying for incompetence?

Good to see old Lambeth in the news again with a proposed 17 pct increase in rents HERE and a 162 pct rise in heating charges HERE.

When it comes to incompetent Councils Lambeth always seems to come to mind first.

I guess it could be something to do with THIS (rather old but they do have a history),  THIS (quite amusing that a letter asking Ms Ozskan to resign was even necessary) , THIS (it was all their fault…) and THIS (my personal favourite).

The whole thing rather reminds me of aid being given to corrupt countries. It’s all very worthwhile if it would only get to the people who need it the most.

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Not terribly exciting but the Housing Benefit bulletin G24/2008 from the DWP to Local Authorities dated 22nd December 2008 contains the following bit of information which might be handy to some…

18 The Audit Commission has asked the DWP to remind LAs that a HB award must not be made until all relevant information and evidence has been gathered.

19 Where this prevents assessment of a claim within 14 days, LAs should consider making a payment on account in rent allowance cases. This note also reminds LAs of certain aspects regarding payments on account which have been highlighted by the Audit Commission.

20 A HB award cannot be made until all required information and evidence has been gathered. If a decision is made to award HB before all of the relevant information and evidence has been received, this may result in an incorrect payment the cost of which would have to be met by the LA.

21 Because an award must not be made until all evidence and information is received, there will always be claims which cannot be awarded within the target period of 14 days. The consequent delay in paying HB could lead to the threat of eviction for private and housing association tenants, and the HB regulations therefore provide for making payments on account of rent allowance to prevent this happening.


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First off happy new year to one and all! Despite the fact it’s freezing cold and increasingly expensive to escape to somewhere warmer abroad (apart apparently from Turkey) 2009 will undoubtedly see lots of exciting? developments in all things LSC and Housing.

2009 may well see the introduction of the first CLAN or Community Legal Advice Network (I don’t think there are any yet, please correct me if I’m wrong!). West Sussex CLAN is likely to be amoungst the first of these and for those interested the Draft Service Specification was recently published. It can be viewed HERE.

Whilst not a hugely riveting read I hope it might be of interest to some.

Being an ex CABist it will be interesting to see if they are successful in bidding for the CLAN contract and if not what becomes of them. Any news from other CLAN or indeed CLAC (Community Legal Advice Centres) areas would be most welcome.

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