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Welfare Reform Task and Finish Group

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Local authorities and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), or housing associations are also known as ‘social landlords’.
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The Welsh Government established a Task and Finish Group in July 2013 to consider the effects of changes to the welfare system on the social rented sector.

Membership comprised of a broad group of stakeholders from across Wales who could consider the impacts of welfare reforms – particularly the bedroom tax on social rented sector landlords and tenants.

The purpose of the Group was to:

  • obtain and assess the latest information on the impacts on the social rented sector (tenants and landlords) of the welfare reforms
  • examine steps that landlords are taking to manage the impacts and any implications or consequences of such action for tenants
  • form a view on the adequacy of the response and the extent to which it is evident across all landlords
  • identify and share good practice to deal with the reforms.

The group comprised of the following members:

Stakeholders

Ian Simpson - Bron Afon Housing Association
Keith Edwards and Julie Nicholas - Chartered Institute of Housing (Wales)
Alun Thomas - Citizens Advice Service (Wales)
Amanda Oliver and Aaron Hill - Community Housing Cymru
John Marr - Council of Mortgage Lenders (Wales)
Paul Neave - Flintshire County Council
Michelle Wales and Jennie Bibbings - Shelter Cymru
Amanda Oliver - Tenants Participation Advisory Service (TPAS)
Shayne Hembrow and Steve Porter - Wales and West Housing Association
Joy Williams and Paula Holland - Welsh Local Government Association
Steve Clarke - Welsh Tenants

Welsh Government

Peter Griffiths and Lowri Hamer - Housing Regulation Team
Simon Prothero and Geoff Marlow - Homeless Team (Housing Options)
Tim Margetts and Karl Thomas (Chair) - Welfare Reform (Housing) and Rent Officers Wales (Benefit Updates)
Phil Lawson and Chris Gittins - Local Government and Communities (Financial Inclusion)
Sara Ahmad - Knowledge and Analytical Services

The Group met on three occasions: 16 July 2013, 6 September 2013 and 11 November 2013

The Group has reported to the Minister for Housing and Regeneration with sixteen recommendations intended to assess the impacts on the Social Rented Sector (tenants and landlords) and to identify and share good practice within the Sector to deal with the reforms. The report is currently under consideration and the Minister will be responding in due course.

For further information about the Task and Finish Group, please email: rentofficerhelpdesk@wales.gsi.gov.uk