LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND HOUSING BENEFITS AFTER CAP

  • "The government increased its contribution in 2011 to support people affected by changes to housing benefit and Universal Credit, including the introduction of the benefit cap and the removal of the spare room subsidy", according to reports by the BBC

    Funding was shared according to how much was spent in each local authority area on housing benefit and how much was lost through welfare reforms and the removal of spare room subsidy:

    • 111 councils spent £7.8m on payments to cover housing costs on top of what they were allocated by the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP)
    • 203 councils underspent 
    • 9 councils spent exactly what they were given
    • Birmingham City Council spent the most on top of its government grant
    • The council above was given just over £3m to cover Discretionary Housing Payments- DHPs-  (which allow councils to give extra funding to people in financial difficulty with housing costs)
    • However, official figures reveal it spent £4.4m
    • English and Welsh councils can top up DHP with their own funds by up to 2.5 times their allocation and Scottish councils do not have a limit
    • Any unused money inclusive of £4.5m from under-spending English councils, returns to central government for the following year's funding
    • The Scottish Government made an extra £35m available to fund DHPs above the £13.3m provided by central government
    • English councils were allocated £103.5m and
    • Welsh councils received £6.7m for 2015-16

    Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said the payments were a "temporary sticking plaster".

    He also said:

    "To fix this crisis for good, the government must commit to building homes that people on lower incomes can actually afford to live in, and in the meantime make sure families get the support they need to keep a roof over their heads."

    What do you think? Please tweet comments @suppsolutions

    For more details, visit the BBC

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