Dan Peters 14 January 2014

Call for more welfare reform support

Call for more welfare reform support image

Housing experts have called for the Government to increase the amount of cash it has pledged to support people affected by welfare reform.

The Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH) said the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) fund should be increased to £250m in 2015/16.

Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement announced that the Government would only provide £40m for DHP payments in each of the next two financial years.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) recently said that around one in six councils had committed to pay out less than a quarter of their DHP allocation for 2013/14.

However, a DWP spokesman denied this message was designed to imply that the cash was not needed.

He said: ‘We haven’t been pointing fingers at individual councils saying you’re a bad performer.’

CIH policy services manager Melanie Rees said: ‘It’s understandable for local authorities to take a very cautious approach to managing a yearly, cash-limited pot.

‘As a result, some have adopted very strict assessment guidelines and may be finding that they have an under-spend.

‘In addition, local authorities have not been given any additional resources for processing DHP applications so there may well be a backlog of applications and, of course, in some places there may simply have been a low level of applications made by tenants.

‘None of these are a reason to assume that the funds aren’t needed by people who are experiencing hardship as a result of welfare reform.’

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr added: ‘It doesn’t matter how much money is left overall when some councils are running out already.

‘You can only get DHP from your own local council and, when the money’s gone, it’s gone, even if the council next door has lots left over.’

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use image

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use

Want to reap the benefits of Commercial Cards but coming up against some challenges? James Sykes, Head of Commercial Cards, Lloyds Bank and David Legg, Head of Corporate Card Products, Lloyds Bank, discuss how the payments industry is helping organisations unlock their true value.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Environmental Health/Environmental Protection Officer - Noise

Tower Hamlets London Borough Council
£41,607.00 - £44,598.00
This post attracts an essential car user allowance. The post holder is able to take part in the Council's flexible working scheme. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Director of Financial Services (Deputy Section 151)

London Borough of Waltham Forest
£110,118 to £118,864
his is a great opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge that will lead to becoming a Section 151 Officer. Waltham Forest, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Waltham Forest

Director of Business Development

North Yorkshire County Council
50-60k + relocation allowance
We are looking for a dynamic and innovative person to help us deliver our ambitious new strategic objectives set out in... North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Strategic Service Manager - Bridgend Youth Justice Service

Bridgend County Borough Council
£44,863 - £45,859 per annum
An exciting opportunity has presented to lead Bridgend Youth Justice Service. Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Corporate Property Surveyor

Ashford Borough Council
£34,476 to £37,158 pa - plus Lease Car or Cash alternative of £2,080 pa
Ashford Borough Council has a long and proud record of driving high quality place making. Ashford, Kent
Recuriter: Ashford Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue