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COUNCILS WELCOME LONG AWAITED HOUSING BENEFIT REFORM

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The LGA welcomed today's ...
The LGA welcomed today's announcementby the government to reform the housing benefit system, after many years of lobbying for changes.

Jeremy Beecham, chair of the LGA, said:

`The LGA has long lobbied for the housing benefit system to be simplified

and improved and we are pleased the government is now looking to reform the

system.

`We believe the proposals have real potential to make a transparent and

accessible benefit system easier for local authorities to administer. We are

also pleased that the government has finally listened to our calls for one

single funding stream, which will enable us to identify exactly how much

money the government provides local authorities to administer housing

benefit on their behalf.

`One of our key concerns however, is to ensure that the allowance level is

set to take into account the reality of the market in high demand areas. We

hope that the pilot schemes will be sufficiently long term to really assess

the changes in the market.

`The LGA will continue to lobby for improvements to the existing housing

benefit system, while the pilots are assessing the viability of these

proposals'.

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