About this resource

These pages are aimed at making sure that your employees, the people you support, and your service as a whole, are prepared for the ongoing changes to the way benefits work.

The reforms are far-reaching and, as things change, some of your clients will still have their benefits paid under the old regime, while others will be moved over to the new structures. To be ready for this, you will need:

  • Policies and procedures that take into account changed entitlements and how the people you work with are being paid - for example rent and resettlement policies and procedures.
  • Recording systems for data and support that keep the organisation informed about clients' needs and help to plan the most effective support.
  • Staff with the skills and training to ensure clients are supported with new and existing welfare benefits, as well as financial and digital capabilty.
  • An organisational culture that promotes clients taking greater personal responsibility for their income and moving towards employment.

What are we doing about Welfare Reform?

We need a welfare system that works with - not against - the homelessness sector. Using our research and the experience of our members, we're continually making the case to Government to ensure that homelessness does not slip off the agenda.

We are campaigning for a system which:

  • prevents homelessness
  • supports recovery from homelessness
  • does not disadvantage vulnerable people
  • works with homelessness agencies so that they can provide a quality service

Our member organisations have provided us with the evidence to demonstrate the current and potential impact of policies, to MPs, Lords and government officials. We do some of this work directly as Homeless Link, and some in partnership with other organisations.

Among the issues we are working on are the exempt accommodation review, direct payment of housing costs to landlords, multiple housing benefit changes, the shared accommodation rate, the work programme, the benefit cap, the social fund, as well as conditionality and sanctions.

How prepared are councils for welfare reform? 2013

Findings from interviews with 42 local authorities into their readiness for Welfare Reform.