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DWP cuts housing crisis fund for poor Britons to lowest level in a decade

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The budget for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) will be £100m by 2022/23 – a cut of almost 30% from the previous year despite soaring inflation and energy bills

Crisis funds are available to Britons unable to meet their bills
Crisis funds are available to Britons unable to meet their bills

Crisis funding for renters in England and Wales is being cut to its lowest level in a decade – despite soaring rents and the cost of living.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that it will cut the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) by around £40 million in 2022/23, to £100 million.

That’s a cut of almost 30% from the £140m it offers in 2021/22 and a significant drop from £180m in 2020/21.

DHP is paid to renters under housing benefit, who are struggling with their rent, or who need help paying upfront for a new rental home.

They have been used to soften welfare cuts such as bedroom taxes and benefit limits.

The DHP budget has been beefed up during the pandemic, but the £100 million DHP budget for 2022/23 remains the lowest in ten years.

It comes as rents and energy bills soar and a DWP housing benefit freeze threatens to push hundreds of thousands of tenants to the brink.

Most benefits are also being increased by 3.1%, less than inflation rising by as little as £10.07 a month for someone on Universal Credit.

Marc Francis of the advocacy charity Z2K said: “With rising rents, many renters will fall into unsustainable shortages that put them at risk of eviction and homelessness.

“This is the worst possible time for the DWP to have to cut another £40 million in funding for the Discretionary Housing Payment.

“It will force local governments to make a terrible choice between helping disabled tenants impacted by the Bedroom Tax and Restricted Entitlement families.

“Z2K hopes that, even at this late stage, the Prime Minister will find some extra money to reverse these cuts.”







Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey is being urged to reverse the cuts
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Image:

NurPhoto / PA images)

In 2020/21 – the most recent year for which data are available – nearly two-thirds of DHP funding is paid to tenants struggling with the impact of various benefit cuts.

Renters experiencing financial hardship can apply for a DHP from their local council, which receives money from the government.

Most councils are getting a DHP budget cut by the same rate – they could use their own funds to pay for this, but council budgets are tight after more than a decade of austerity belly.

David Renard, housing spokesman for the Local Government Association – which represents councils in England and Wales – said: “The reduction in the total Government contribution to discretionary housing payments for local government is concerning and comes at a time when the cost of living is rising and a host of other sources of funding are being withdrawn, such as the Household Support Fund.

“We would like to see the government commit to reviewing and doubling discretionary housing payments if the need for support is greater than last year.

“We also urge the Prime Minister to use the upcoming Spring Declaration to deliver effective, sustainable support to low-income households to ensure that they are not at risk of hardship, homelessness. and reduced opportunities due to financial squeeze of households. ”

A government spokesman said: “This Government is working across the country to help people in need with housing and will spend more than £2 billion to tackle and prevent homelessness and homelessness. oversleeping in the next 3 years.

“The change in the Discretionary Housing Payment fund also reflects the increase in the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) at the start of the pandemic that we were maintaining and government spending on housing assistance. still higher than pre-Covid levels.”

While it is true that the LHA – the housing benefit paid to tenants in the private rental sector – was up at the start of the pandemic, it was frozen this year and will be frozen again in 2022. /23 – thus reducing its value to any tenant. and properties with rising rents.

Discretionary Housing Payment Budget by Year

  • 2022/23 100 million pounds
  • 2021/22 £140 million
  • 2020/21 £179.5 million
  • 2019/20 £139.5 million
  • 2018/19 153 million pounds
  • 2017/18 £166.5 million
  • 2016/17 134.2 million pounds
  • 2015/16 110.2 million pounds
  • 2014/15 149 million pounds
  • 2013/14 £156.6 million

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dwp-slashes-housing-crisis-fund-26485466 DWP cuts housing crisis fund for poor Britons to lowest level in a decade

Fry Electronics Team

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