Updated: 24 Feb 2017
During 2015/16, we paid a total of £680.3m in Housing Benefit. At the end of March 2016 there were 165,314 tenants claiming Housing Benefit (67,214 in Housing Executive tenancies, 28,444 in Housing Association tenancies and 68,277 in Private Rented Sector tenancies).
Additional financial assistance was also delivered to 16,004 private sector claimants through the Discretionary Housing Payment scheme with awards totalling £3.1m being made over the course of the year. New claims were processed on average within 16.8 days of receipt of the claim, with 46% of these being processed in under 10 days while changes were made on average in 4.9 days of our being notified of the change.
We continued our efforts to reduce the level of fraudulent claims and during 2015/16 sanctions were taken against more than 650 claimants for benefit fraud and we recovered over £14.6m of overpaid Housing Benefit.