70% Of Local Authorities Spend Less Than Half Of Discretionary Payment Pots
Official Government figures suggest that 70% of UK local Authorities are committed to pay out less than half their emergency hardship fund or discretionary housing payments pots by the midpoint of the current financial year.
The figures were confirmed following further research by Inside Housing published in November, which found many local authorities were on course to hand back millions of unspent discretionary housing payment funds in April 2014.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures, released on Friday 20th December 2013, show one in six local authorities have committed to pay out less than a quarter of their DHP pots.Esther McVey, minister for employment, said: “We are fixing the benefits system, but we have ensured help is there for people as we go through the changes. There is a significant amount of cash still available to help people who need extra support, despite scare stories that the funding would run out in a matter of months. It is encouraging that the vast majority of councils appear to be spending the money wisely and ensuring it goes to the people who need it most. But the cash is there to be used and we urge people who need an extra bit of help to contact their local authority.”
Additional DHP funding of £20 Million (GBP) was announced in the summer with £3.3 Million (GBP) so far awarded to 29 councils.
Welfare Reform was always going to increase the number of claimants who needed short term support and this is why these funds were made available, however, while local authorities withhold money meant for struggling claimants, private rental sector (PRS) landlords are suffering increasing rent arrears affecting their business prospects.
If the money has been set aside by Government to help struggling tenants, then landlords need to help them claim it.
If you want to discover the best ways of managing tenants who are claiming Local Housing Allowance (LHA) then we recommend LHA And How To Make It Work For You by John Paul The LHA expert.
Original Source: http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/care/70-of-english-councils-spent-less-than-half-dhp-pot/7001417.article?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Ocean+Media+&utm_campaign=3486632_IH-Daily+News-241213-NE&dm_i=1HH2,22QAW,87BZK1,7HJVR,1
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