Evictions and Out-of-Area Rehousing of Council Tenants affected by Welfare Reform

Isabel Marshall made this Freedom of Information request to North Lanarkshire Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear North Lanarkshire Council,

I am seeking information about the potential impact of central government welfare reform policies on eviction rates and geographical displacement of households with council housing tenancies. My information request relates to three welfare reform policies:

- Under-Occupancy (also known as Removal of Spare Room Subsidy / Bedroom Tax)

- The Benefit Cap

- Universal Credit roll-out

I understand that under Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 there is a duty to assist and advise the requester. I would appreciate your advice if you think my request needs any clarification in order to get the information that I am looking for, or if it would exceed the cost limit in its present form.

1. Please provide an annual breakdown since April 2010 of the total number of unique council tenancies - including the total number of people recorded as living in them - that have been evicted due to the non-payment of rent arrears.

2. For each year of this annual breakdown since April 2013, please disclose how many of these evicted households - including the total number of people recorded as living in them - had at some point been affected by:

a. Under-occupancy

b. Under-occupancy and the Benefit Cap

c. Under-occupancy and the Benefit Cap and Universal Credit roll-out

3. How many of the evicted households affected by a, b, or c - including the total number of people recorded as living in them - went on to make a successful homelessness application to the local authority?

4. Of these successful homeless applications, please disclose how many households - including the total number of people recorded as living in them - were placed in temporary accommodation in a different local authority area and disclose the destination local authority area in each case.

Yours faithfully,

Isabel Marshall

Keachie Jacqueline, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Ms Marshall

I acknowledge receipt of your e-mail which is receiving attention.

I shall contact you again when I am in a position to respond more fully to your request.

Yours sincerely

Jacqueline Keachie
for Freedom of Information Co-ordinator
North Lanarkshire Council
Civic Centre
Motherwell
ML1 1AB
01698 302232

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foirequest, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Ms Marshall

 

Request for Information

 

I refer again to your e-mail of 23 January 2018 seeking information in
relation to evictions and out of area re-housing of Council tenants
affected by welfare reform.

 

Having investigated, my response to your four enquiries is as follows:-

 

(1)       The following table sets out the number of unique Council tenancies –
including the total number of people living in them that have been evicted due
to rent arrears.

 

Information only available from 2013 onwards
All Household
TERMINATION REASON FINANCIAL YEAR No of Tenancies Members
Evicted - Rent Arrears 2013 51 105
  2014 79 164
  2015 144 300
  2016 193 444
  2017 145 311
  Grand Total 612 1324

 

Please note that information prior to 2013 is not held and in terms of
Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 I must advise
you of this.

 

(2a)        The following table sets out the number of evictions due to
rent arrears where there was a level of under occupancy.

 

 

Under-Occupancy FINANCIAL No of
YEAR Tenancies
  2013 3
  2014 18
  2015 73
  2016 53
  2017 19
Grand total   166

 

(2b)        The following table sets out the number of evictions where
there was an element of housing benefit and a level of under occupancy.

 

               

HB and Level of FINANCIAL No of
Under-Occupancy YEAR Tenancies
  2013 2
  2014 5
  2015 24
  2016 24
  2017 9
Grand total   64

 

(2c)        The following table sets out the number of evictions where the
Tenant was on Universal Credit.

 

               

On FINANCIAL No of
Universal YEAR Tenancies
Credit
  2013  
  2014  
  2015  
  2016 3
  2017 12
Grand   15
total
     

 

 

(3)&

(4)          I regret to advise you there is no data set from which the
information sought can be extracted and in terms of Section 17 of the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 I must advise you the
information as sought is not held.

 

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the
provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested
information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that
request, can within forty working days require a review of that decision
by writing to the Head of Business for Legal and Democratic Solutions,
Civic Centre, Windmillhill Street, Motherwell ML1 1AB.  Accordingly, if
you are dissatisfied with this decision and seek such review please write
to the Head of Business for Legal and Democratic Solutions.

 

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who
is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section
21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local
authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice -
may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a
decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the
request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt
with in accordance with the Act.  Such an application must be made within
six months of the review decision and be in writing or in another form
which, by reason of it having some permanency is capable of being used for
subsequent reference. The application must state the name of the
applicant, and provide an address for correspondence. The application must
also specify the request for information to which the requirement for
review relates, the matter which gave rise to the applicant’s
dissatisfaction with the original decision of the local authority and the
matter which gives rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the
decision on review by the local authority or the failure of the local
authority to issue such a decision.  The Scottish Information Commissioner
can be contacted as follows:-

 

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St. Andrews

KY16  9DS

email: [1][email address]

 

Appeals to the Scottish Information Commissioner can also be made online
via the following link: -

 

[2]www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal

 

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose.  If, however, you
require further information – or I can assist in any other way – please
let me know.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Angelene Kirkpatrick

For Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

North Lanarkshire Council

Civic Centre

Windmillhill Street

Motherwell

ML1 1AB

 

 

 

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