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Housing Benefit Information Obtained

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A couple of weeks ago, I sent a request under the Freedom of Information for Croydon Council to disclose how much it (on average) spends on Housing Benefit every month and how much the average housing benefit rent is/was over the last three years.

The response was pretty shocking.

This is on average how much Croydon Council spends on Housing Benefit every month:

* 2008/2009 £13,976,282.00

* 2009/2010 £16,463,370.00

* 2010/2011 £18,412,610.00

From 2008/9 t0 2010/11, monthly housing benefit payments rose by over £4,000,000.00.

It is clear from this that Housing Benefits are fuelling increased rental prices and are propping up house prices.

Croydon wouldn't provide information as to average amount of housing benefit paid, stating this: "In respect of individual claimants there is no average amount of housing benefit, as the amount of benefit paid is dependant on the nature of the claim made and the personal circumstances of the claimant".

If anyone else has requested this sort of information, they can post it here.

Edit: typo

Edited by Cozza

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A couple of weeks ago, I sent a request under the Freedom of Information for Croydon Council to disclose how much it (on average) spends on Housing Benefit every month and how much the average housing benefit rent is/was over the last three years.

The response was pretty shocking.

This is on average how much Croydon Council spends on Housing Benefit every month:

* 2008/2009 £13,976,282.00

* 2009/2010 £16,463,370.00

* 2010/2011 £18,412,610.00

From 2008/9 t0 2010/11, monthly housing benefit payments rose by over £4,000,000.00.

It is clear from this that Housing Benefits are fuelling increased rental prices and are propping up house prices.

Croydon wouldn't provide information as to average amount of housing benefit paid, stating this: "In respect of individual claimants there is no average amount of housing benefit, as the amount of benefit paid is dependant on the nature of the claim made and the personal circumstances of the claimant".

If anyone else has requested this sort of information, they can post it here.

Edit: typo

london borough of croydon has a population of 269000

this means everyone in Croydon pays at least £70 per month, or more like £140+ per month per household, towards housing benefit costs

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staggering figures. Have you sent them to the local paper?

It would also be interesting to know how many claimants are on income support/jsa getting the full amount and how many are low income working getting a part amount.

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Croydon wouldn't provide information as to average amount of housing benefit paid, stating this: "In respect of individual claimants there is no average amount of housing benefit, as the amount of benefit paid is dependant on the nature of the claim made and the personal circumstances of the claimant".

Write back and ask for the number of claimants, I can't think of a reason why they shouldn't supply.

Edited by FaFa!

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A couple of weeks ago, I sent a request under the Freedom of Information for Croydon Council to disclose how much it (on average) spends on Housing Benefit every month and how much the average housing benefit rent is/was over the last three years.

The response was pretty shocking.

This is on average how much Croydon Council spends on Housing Benefit every month:

* 2008/2009 £13,976,282.00

* 2009/2010 £16,463,370.00

* 2010/2011 £18,412,610.00

From 2008/9 t0 2010/11, monthly housing benefit payments rose by over £4,000,000.00.

It is clear from this that Housing Benefits are fuelling increased rental prices and are propping up house prices.

Croydon wouldn't provide information as to average amount of housing benefit paid, stating this: "In respect of individual claimants there is no average amount of housing benefit, as the amount of benefit paid is dependant on the nature of the claim made and the personal circumstances of the claimant".

If anyone else has requested this sort of information, they can post it here.

Edit: typo

Thanks for posting. Cannot find info on the number of households, but the population of the borough seems to be about 350,000. Making a guess at the number of households as half that, it makes eye-watering reading for a Croydon taxpayer, something like £100/month each.

This has to stop.

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Thanks for posting. Cannot find info on the number of households, but the population of the borough seems to be about 350,000. Making a guess at the number of households as half that, it makes eye-watering reading for a Croydon taxpayer, something like £100/month each.

This has to stop.

I am sure this is repeated across the board, hence the reason why rentals have gone up and BTL empires are not crashing...YET.

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A couple of weeks ago, I sent a request under the Freedom of Information for Croydon Council to disclose how much it (on average) spends on Housing Benefit every month and how much the average housing benefit rent is/was over the last three years.

The response was pretty shocking.

This is on average how much Croydon Council spends on Housing Benefit every month:

* 2008/2009 £13,976,282.00

* 2009/2010 £16,463,370.00

* 2010/2011 £18,412,610.00

From 2008/9 t0 2010/11, monthly housing benefit payments rose by over £4,000,000.00.

It is clear from this that Housing Benefits are fuelling increased rental prices and are propping up house prices.

Croydon wouldn't provide information as to average amount of housing benefit paid, stating this: "In respect of individual claimants there is no average amount of housing benefit, as the amount of benefit paid is dependant on the nature of the claim made and the personal circumstances of the claimant".

If anyone else has requested this sort of information, they can post it here.

Edit: typo

Do you have a template of your request as I fancy doing likewise?

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staggering figures. Have you sent them to the local paper?

It would also be interesting to know how many claimants are on income support/jsa getting the full amount and how many are low income working getting a part amount.

No I haven't and perhaps I should. Just thought it would have more impact posted on HPC.

We need to see HB disclosure from every Council across the UK and have it confirmed that the taxpayer has been dressed up as a circus clown for a good many years.

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Do you have a template of your request as I fancy doing likewise?

Flaps, this is a copy of my request:

“Would you please let me know how much (on average) Croydon Council spends on Housing Benefit every month and how much the average housing benefit rent is.

Would you please let me have this information for the last three years.”

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Flaps, this is a copy of my request:

“Would you please let me know how much (on average) Croydon Council spends on Housing Benefit every month and how much the average housing benefit rent is.

Would you please let me have this information for the last three years.”

Thanks Cozza, I didn't know if you needed to specify you were requesting the info under the freedom of information act a well (as I must admit, I don't know a great deal about it) or if you just simply asked for what you wanted. Is there a reason for the 3 year time scale, rather than a larger one? My area is Bassetlaw by the way, which must be one of the safest labour seats going!

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Thanks for posting. Cannot find info on the number of households, but the population of the borough seems to be about 350,000. Making a guess at the number of households as half that, it makes eye-watering reading for a Croydon taxpayer, something like £100/month each.

This has to stop.

First great work Cozza finding out the information! Fascinating seeing it rise so quickly.

Since about 50% of the population is actively in the workforce that would be 175,000 people earning money who live in Croydon. Yearly cost would be £220 million at the current rate.

Yep works out to £100 per month per worker in the area.

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Flaps, this is a copy of my request:

“Would you please let me know how much (on average) Croydon Council spends on Housing Benefit every month and how much the average housing benefit rent is.

Would you please let me have this information for the last three years.”

Is that all you wrote? I think I'll do Chelmsford Council tonight.

Edit I shall email this:

Dear Sir/Madam

Under the freedom of information act 2000 could you please provide me with the following data:

1, The average monthly expenditure on housing benefit for each of the last three years.

2, The average number of housing benefit claimants per month for each of the last three years.

Thank you.

Kind regards.

Pent Up

Edited by Pent Up

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http://www.ico.gov.uk/Global/faqs/freedom_of_information_act_for_the_public.aspx#fA4236BFE-176B-4C39-8500-BC73EB7EE199

Q: What can I request under the Freedom of Information Act?

You have the right to request any information held by public authorities. The Act allows access to recorded information, such as emails, meeting minutes, research or reports, held by public authorities in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and some authorities located in Scotland. Scottish public authorities are subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Q: How do I make a request?

Your request must:

* be made in writing (this can be electronically eg, fax, email);

* state the name of the applicant and an address for correspondence; and

* describe the information requested.

For further advice read our instructions on how to access official information.

Q: I choose how I receive the information?

When making a request you can state a preference of how you want the information communicated to you. This could be providing a hard copy, or an electronic copy of the information, providing you an opportunity to inspect a record containing the information or providing a digest or summary of the information. The public authority should give effect to this as far as is reasonably practical, or notify you why it is not so.

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Q: How quickly will I receive a response?

You must be informed in writing whether the public authority holds the information requested and if so, have the information communicated to you, promptly, but not later than 20 working days after they receive the request. In some circumstances a request may be refused. If this is the case, generally a Refusal Notice should have been issued to you. This should state the exemption providing the basis for refusal within the Freedom of Information Act and why it applies to the information you requested. This notice must also be communicated to you within the 20 working day time period.

A limited number of factors could extend this period, full details can be found in in our guidance on the time for compliance to requests.

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F' me.

About sums it up

Can we try this with all Councils and Collate it all?

A very good idea. I am going to do Bromley, Lewisham and Wandsworth Councils sharpish. Will post the information here when received.

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A very good idea. I am going to do Bromley, Lewisham and Wandsworth Councils sharpish. Will post the information here when received.

I'll save this thread in my favourites - get a spreadsheet on the go. And update this every now and again with a list of all.

edit: Can we aim for a minimum 3 years of information?

Started working on a little something now - got a fair few ideas about what I want to include and open to ideas/suggestions

Edited by Gerinako

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Great work Cozza.

I am about to do the same in Coventry. Tell me, which department did you send your request to?

I would recommend that anyone else who has a few spare minutes does this. At a time when councils are looking for cuts, I reckon this sort of information coupled with linking these costs to helping landlords not benefits claimants would be media gold.

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So that's c. £18m going straight to landlords or more likely to their banks in the form of IO payments on their BTL mortgages.

That's the whole point after all isn't it?

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Great work Cozza.

I am about to do the same in Coventry. Tell me, which department did you send your request to?

I would recommend that anyone else who has a few spare minutes does this. At a time when councils are looking for cuts, I reckon this sort of information coupled with linking these costs to helping landlords not benefits claimants would be media gold.

Caveat Mortgagor, here's where to request the information:

http://www.coventry.gov.uk/a_to_z/service/99/freedom_of_information

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So that's c. £18m going straight to landlords or more likely to their banks in the form of IO payments on their BTL mortgages.

That's the whole point after all isn't it?

nah, probably much of it is internally recirculated to Housing Associations. thats where the mega money is.

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Thanks Cozza, I didn't know if you needed to specify you were requesting the info under the freedom of information act a well (as I must admit, I don't know a great deal about it) or if you just simply asked for what you wanted. Is there a reason for the 3 year time scale, rather than a larger one? My area is Bassetlaw by the way, which must be one of the safest labour seats going!

I just asked for what I wanted. You can change the timescale if you want, to a longer one. Here's where you go.

http://www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/services/council_amp_democracy/data_protection__foi/freedom_of_information/freedom_of_information/how_to_make_a_request.aspx

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I just asked for what I wanted. You can change the timescale if you want, to a longer one. Here's where you go.

http://www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/services/council_amp_democracy/data_protection__foi/freedom_of_information/freedom_of_information/how_to_make_a_request.aspx

Thanks Cozza. I notice they state they can charge up to £450 for supplying information. Did Croydon have a similar statement on their website?

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