Anti-social neighbours could lose their housing benefit under
proposals being consulted on by the department for work and
pensions, writes Clare Jerrom.
Work and pensions secretary Andrew Smith issued a consultation
document this week to seek views on using housing benefit
sanctions to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Smith said: “The government sympathises with those who
question whether it is right for the state to support the housing
costs of people whose behaviour brings misery to the lives of
individuals and communities.
“The aim of a housing benefit sanction would be to provide
a workable measure that could be applied swiftly and fairly in
response to such behaviour,” he said.
The government announced in a white paper published in March
that it intended to consult on whether to give local authorities an
‘enabling power’ to withhold housing benefit from tenants where
they believe it is the most effective way of tackling anti-social
The consultation describes two options: a sanction triggered by
court convictions for offences involving anti-social behaviour and
a sanction triggered by a separate local authority administrative
process. Both would be delivered by the local authority housing
The deadline for responses is 12 August.