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.’

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV image

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV

The crisis in funding for CCTV systems is not being addressed by the government or the police and is leading to the curtailment of this vital service in local authorities across the country. How can we ensure that communities that want this service continue to receive it, asks Tom Reeve.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior infrastructure engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£45.834 - £56.141
You’ll lead the building, testing and monitoring new and existing services both on-prem and in the cloud. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Infrastructure engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£37.772 - £46.999
This is a great role in a vibrant and growing team; we’re looking for people who have some experience in infrastructure engineering... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Solutions Architect

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Solutions ArchitectPermanent, Full TimeCompetitive SalaryLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Growth, Investment and Tourism – Dover District Council

Dover District Council
Competitive Salary
In this role, you will find significant and nationally important physical, economic and cultural assets with the capacity to... Dover, Kent
Recuriter: Dover District Council

Monitoring Officer / Assistant Director Legal, Registration & Electoral Services

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£90,205 per annum         
This is an exciting time to join Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and an opportunity to make a real difference. Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan 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