Discretionary Housing Payments topped £50m over past year
Almost 113,000 awards have been made under the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) scheme over the past year, with a total value of £51.9 million, new figures have revealed.
Local authorities paid out the money during the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, with an average payment of £460.
The scheme is used by local authorities to provide financial assistance towards housing costs, including covering the shortfall in tenants’ weekly rent where it has been affected by the ‘bedroom tax, the impact of which is being reimbursed by the Scottish Government.
Social security minister Jeane Freeman said: “We want to protect low income families and households across Scotland which is why we have taken action to ensure Discretionary Housing Payments are available to all households affected by the bedroom tax.
“The funding made available over the past year has protected more than 70,000 households. We will continue to provide support for those families who are most in need and will abolish the bedroom tax at the first opportunity.”
According to the statistics, local authorities received around 107,000 applications to the scheme. By the end of March 2017, around 121,000 of these claims were processed to determine whether or not to make an award (an application – sometimes made in the previous financial year – can have multiple decisions attached to it) and almost 113,000 awards were granted.
As of April 2017 DHPs have been fully devolved to the Scottish Government, however during the period covered by these statistics DHPs were mostly a matter reserved to the UK government.