Dads are routinely excluded from housing, particularly social housing.

That this House notes that child benefit can only be paid to one parent; further notes that this unnecessarily discriminates against the other parent where parents are separated and maintain shared custody of children; further notes that this can further discriminate against one parent by preventing access to suitable housing and additional income to allow them to provide for children; further notes that this can lead to restricted access for one parent to see their children; and calls on the Government to take action to address these problems.

EDM 34

Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association refuse to add a child residing with a father to the housing needs assessment. This means the child is invisible. The father has no chance of providing suitable social housing. Further impairing the chances of the child of having a relationship with their father.

Similarly, Bedford Borough Council also discriminate against fathers who have children residing with them. By refusing to pay housing benefit so the child can have a bedroom. Again the child is invisible. The child is likely to suffer from a diminished relationship with their father, and live in severe poverty when residing with their father for nearly half their lives.

In June 2012 this was sent to the Benefit Manager at Bedford Borough Council, Sue Head.

In your letter dated 23 January 2012, you stated that an Equality Impact Analysis of the Council’s Housing Benefit policy would be completed by the end of March 2012. Please send me a copy by return.

As of date of posting no Equality Impact Assessment of the Council’s Housing Benefit policy has been received.

Section 37 of the Poor Law Amendment Act 1868,  made it an offence for a parent to:

wilfully neglect to provide adequate food, clothing, medical aid, or lodging for his child

This wording remains today, within section 1(2)(a) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

One wonders if local Housing Associations and Local Authorities are aware that by their actions against parents they may be causing them to commit an offence.

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