THE amount of housing benefit paid to the DWP Housing Partnership stands at over £5million a year, it has been revealed.

The DWP Housing Partnership, which is Bournemouth’s biggest private landlord, receives £4.8million in housing benefit from Bournemouth council for accommodation provided to residents.

The figure of £4,796,876 is six-and-a-half times the amount paid to the second biggest recipient – Scott Ford Management Ltd, who received £737,703.

The DWP Housing Partnership, formerly known as Dave Wells’ Properties, also received £911,390 from the Borough of Poole and £51,776 from Purbeck District Council, the figures compiled by the Daily Mirror reveal.

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Steve Wells, of DWP Housing Partnership, said: “DWP Housing Partnership provides affordable homes to a wide range of tenants including those on benefits.

“We invest heavily in new developments, such as the £4.5m block now being built on Christchurch Road in Boscombe that will provide housing for more than 50 people.

“We have over 3,000 tenants and the majority of our rents are at an affordable level.”

According to the Department of Work and Pensions, Bournemouth also has one of the highest proportions of housing benefit paid to landlords in the country. A total of 68 per cent of housing benefit profits private landlords, behind only Blackpool (76 per cent) and Torbay (71 per cent) The DWP Housing Partnership, which has its main office in St Clement’s Road, Springbourne, was founded in 1985 when Mr Wells bought his first rental property. It currently owns almost 3,000 units across Dorset and Hampshire and is run by Mr Wells and his sons Shane and Steve.

Currently tenants in privately-rented accommodation can choose whether they want their housing benefit paid to them or directly to their landlord but this is set to change with the introduction of Universal Credit, which is due to be rolled out in Dorset this June.

When this comes into force, claimants will be receive one single payment, including money for their rent, and will then be responsible for paying their landlord themselves.