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Direct Payments 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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We established a Task and Finish Group to consider Direct Payments of Housing Benefit on the Social Rented Sector and Sustainable Tenancies

The Group has reported to the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty with fifteen recommendations intended to evaluate the impacts on the Social Rented Sector (tenants and landlords) and to identify and share good practice within the sector to deal with direct payment of housing costs.

The purpose of the Group was to:

  • consider ways in which the sector can identify the capabilities of their tenants to manage direct payment of benefit, ie:
    • identifying those tenants who are capable and require no support
    • identifying tenants who can manage their affairs but require support before going onto direct payment
    • identifying tenants who unable to manage their affairs and unlikely to go onto direct payments, split payments or change in frequency of payment - ie vulnerable claimants, health, education, drink/drugs etc
  • consider and adopt the positive lessons learnt from the direct payment demonstration projects to assist this process
  • consider the impacts of the welfare reforms on tenancy sustainability – notably evictions (which may be rising), abandonment, indebtedness, etc
  • identify and share good practice to deal with direct payments.


Membership comprised of a broad group of stakeholders from across Wales who deliberated over the matter and suggested ways in which the Welsh Social Rented Sector could best respond to direct payments. 

The group comprised of the following members:


Amanda Oliver and Aaron Hill - Community Housing Cymru
Paula Holland - Welsh Local Government Association
Steve Clarke and Sonia Benbow-Jones - Welsh Tenants
Ian Simpson - Bron Afon Housing Association
Michael Halloran and Steve Porter - Wales and West Housing Association
John Marr - Council of Mortgage Lenders (Wales)
Julie Nicholas - Chartered Institute of Housing (Wales)
Clare James – City and Council of Swansea
Sandra Isaacs – Caerphilly County Council
Paul Neave – Flintshire County Council
Lisa Hayward – Merthyr County Council
Lindsey Kearton – Citizens Advice Cymru
Lee Phillips – The Money Advice Service
Joselle Lovell – Wales Co-Operative Centre
Helen Matthews – Department for Work and Pensions
Leanne Roberts and Jonathan Morgan – Blaenau Gwent

Welsh Government

Karl Thomas - Welfare Reform [Housing] and Rent Officers Wales (Chair)
Geoff Marlow - Homeless Team (Housing Options)
Linda Davis – Communities and Tackling Poverty

For further information about the Task and Finish Group, please email: