The politicians are challenged to live on benefits and get a real insight into how low-income families cope day-to-day.
Without their usual generous expense accounts and with no staff to delegate to, some of the MPs struggle. There's a new MP too, as Conservative Nadine Dorries takes the place of Iain Duncan Smith. Having grown up on a council estate herself, Nadine initially thinks life on the South Acton estate in west London is easier than when she was a child. But she faces a rude awakening.
On Hull's Orchard Park estate, Labour veteran Austin Mitchell isn't keen to survive on benefits, but agrees to take on the child-care responsibilities of his host, unemployed chef Dave. And Austin's wife Linda throws a dinner party, but the residents seem unimpressed.
Tory Tim Loughton is taken aback when he moves in with a family of four (plus two dogs) living in a cramped one bedroom flat on Birmingham's Newtown estate, .
And in Barking's Goresbrook estate, Liberal Democrat Mark Oaten, an only child, finds moving into a household with five children and four cats a shock.