Households on hardship relief more than doubles

PUBLISHED: 10:26 05 February 2014 | UPDATED: 10:27 05 February 2014

More than 280 applications were made for discretionary housing payments (DHP)

More than 280 applications were made for discretionary housing payments (DHP)

Archant

The number of households in Welwyn Hatfield awarded Government-funded hardship relief has more than doubled in a year, new figures have revealed.

A report released last week showed 289 applications for discretionary housing payments (DHP) have been made since a Government welfare reform last year.

Cuts in Government grants for council tax benefits, and benefit cuts for social housing tenants with one or more spare bedrooms have been blamed.

The document, by Welwyn Hatfield Council client support services manager Farhad Cantel, said relief had been granted to 125 applicants, at a cost of £97,724.

Additionally, the council awarded more than £10,600 in hardship relief.

Council guidelines say the money is only given to vulnerable people trying to help themselves.

The report states: “The main reason for needing hardship relief and DHP is claimants experiencing financial difficulties due to no longer receiving 100 per cent support towards their council tax liability, or having housing 
benefit restricted due to under-occupancy.”

Welwyn Hatfield Council has a £25,000 hardship relief budget, and the Government has given £160,700 for DHP payments.


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