Glasgow tops Scotland’s Discretionary Housing Payments bill
Glasgow is on course to have more than £8 million spent on payments to mitigate the ‘bedroom tax’ this year, according to official statistics.
Latest figures from the Scottish Government show almost 20,000 households in the city have so far been allocated Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) mainly to make up the shortfall in housing benefit to prevent bedroom tax arrears.
Between them the UK government, Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council has already spent £5.5m up to this month in mitigating the removal of spare room subsidy policy.
Another £2.8 is expected by the end of the financial year in March taking the city’s total to £8,307,437.
Glasgow is by far the biggest with a DHP bill almost double that of Edinburgh, which is estimated to spend 4.6m.
In total Scotland will spend £48.3m in ensuring no-one falls behind with rent or has to pay extra as a result of the bedroom tax.
During the period 1 April to 30 September 2015, local authorities in Scotland made 92,000 DHP awards. The average award value was £476, typically to cover shortfalls in housing costs through to 31 March 2016.
The total value of DHP awards spent or committed so far for 2015/16 was £43.9 million (91 per cent) of the total estimated funding of £48.3 million for 2015/16. Committed spend occurs, for example, if a local authority decides to award funds for the whole of 2015/16, but this may be paid out in instalments throughout the year rather than in one lump sum.
Local authorities received around 100,000 applications for DHPs and processed around 97,000 of these, determining whether or not to make an award. This figure is likely to include a sizeable number of cases affected by the bedroom tax, where local authorities have continued to make up the shortfall in tenants’ weekly rent through the use of DHPs.
The final amount will be calculated and announced after the end of the 2015/16 financial year.