Help for those affected by bedroom tax

Lord David Freud
Lord David Freud

North Lanarkshire Council is changing the way it deals with Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to ease hardship on households affected by the Bedroom Tax.

Having received confirmation from Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and UK Welfare Minister Lord David Freud that it will be able to spend over and above the Department for Work & Pensions’ welfare cap on DHPs to help impacted residents, NLC is providing this support immediately.

Convener of finance and customer service, Councillor Bob Burrows said: “We have just over £3m available to help residents who contact us in order to meet the shortfall in their rent due to the bedroom tax.

“And, as a result of this written confirmation, we are making several immediate changes.

“These include ensuring all new DHP awards are at a rate of 100 per cent of the bedroom tax loss, increasing existing DHP awards to 100 per cent and reassessing applications that were refused and, if now found eligible, awarding 100 per cent of the loss. All of these will be backdated to 1st April.

“Finally, we will be working with registered social landlords and NLC’s housing team to contact and engage with affected households to encourage tenants to start claiming DHP.

“The claim process is relatively simple but residents affected by the bedroom tax really do need to get in touch with us.”