Westminster’s poorest residents will be hit by a £2.2 million cut in Government help with housing costs next year as the amount of money available for Direct Housing Payments (DHP) emergency housing help has been slashed by 45% from £4.8 million to 2.6 million.
The hardship fund was set up by the Government following the Housing Benefit cuts to help people with their housing costs and is administered by local councils.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said:
“This is another cut from a mean and nasty Conservative Government that will hit the most vulnerable Westminster residents and will force many of them in to even deeper poverty, as well as forcing many long-standing residents to leave Westminster.”
This week Westminster Councillors were told:
“The Benefits Service continues to receive high volumes of DHP claims directly from HB claimants, in addition to the referrals made through HOS. In December, 115 claims were received. 127 claims were decided in December of which 89 claims were granted and 38 claims were refused. The amount of DHP spend for decided claims in December is £227,599. The majority of claims now relate to the household Benefit Cap.”
Summary of DHP claims in December
Total claims received – 115
Total claims decided – 127
DHP granted – 89
DHP refused – 38
Amount of DHP awarded for claims decided in December – £227,599
Projected DHP spend in 2013/14 on all claims agreed to date – £4,019.135