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14 January 2009
Slough's Housing Benefit

Last week's Slough Express article Homeless family put in five-bed private house did not reveal the full extent of Slough's Housing Benefit situation.

In Slough 11,200 households receive government help to pay their rent. This financial help is called Housing Benefit and is paid every 28 days.

More than half these payments are made to private landlords who charge considerably more rent than the council.

It was a Conservative government which banned local councils from building new council homes to replace those sold to existing tenants. Housing Benefit payments now make private landlords rich instead of flowing to the council for the benefit of our local communities.

Slough's highest yearly Housing Benefit payment to a single household is now £38,350.

Slough's Housing Benefit bill exceeds a staggering £51 million annually. Processing and checking claims and issuing payments costs Slough Council over £2 million annually with the government refunding 60% of the cost.

Regrettably some unscrupulous people who can afford to pay their rent are making bogus fraudulent claims. If you have suspicions about benefit fraud please telephone the council's 24-hour confidential benefit investigation unit on 01753-787876.

Paul Janik
The Slough Party.