This scheme was announced by the Government in July 2004 to transfer responsibility for housing SWA Rent Supplement recipients who are deemed to have a long term housing need to local authorities over a four year period. The RAS is a collaborative project between the Department (DEHLG), local authorities, the Department of Social and Family Affairs and the community welfare service. Administered by local authorities the scheme is intended to provide an additional source of good quality rented accommodation for eligible persons.
All local authorities have now implemented the new arrangements for RAS. It is planned that Rent Supplement clients of 18 months or longer will be moved to RAS.
From September, 2005 (when the first transfers were made) to the end of 2006 local authorities have transferred some 2,800 cases from Rent Supplement to RAS. A further 2,200 cases, who formerly received Rent Supplement were accommodated in other social housing units in this period.