Petitions (Invalid) - Bedroom Tax - Discretionary Housing Payments

Petition details We call on the Council to top up the Discretionary Housing Payments Fund in order to properly support disabled and vulnerable tenants who are victims of the UK Government’s Bedroom Tax. We call on the Council to find £2 million to top up the Fund to the maximum allowed by Statute.

The Council has been allocated £1,347,299 to the Fund by the Department of Work and Pensions. Local authorities are able to increase the DWP allocation by up to 1.5 times from their own resources (known as ‘matched funding’). When the Council was preparing, last year, its budget for 2013/2014 it decided not to provide matched funding. The public only became aware of this and its implications recently.

The Council has already agreed that tenants in the categories below (samples from a list) may be helped. It now has to provide the resources to ensure that DHP will be paid.

where a tenant is chronically sick or disabled;
where a tenant is experiencing exceptional hardship;
to cover the reasonable costs of renting a particular type of accommodation to suit a particular need;
where a parent does not have full time custody of children but has regular overnight
access visits. Regular access will be considered to be 1 night per week.

If the Council does not top up the Fund many tenants will fall into rent arrears and, if they are tenants of Housing Associations, be subject to eviction.
Petition Status Invalid in terms of 1.2 and 1.3 of our petitions criteria as it relates to: a matter already being considered or scheduled to be considered by the Council or a committee and a decision of the Council or a committee within the previous six month period.
Petition Status Invalid in terms of paragraph 1.2 and 1.3 of the Petitions Criteria
Name of petitioner Des Loughney
Further Action This matter was considered at the Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee meeting on 14 May 2013. A report was presented in relation to the Discretionary Housing Payments Policy.
Links Corporate Policy and Strategy Meeting 14 May 2013