£5 million for Discretionary Housing Payments.
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has announced £5 million additional investment to support tenants under financial pressure during the COVID-19 outbreak
The extra funding, announced during the Stage 3 debate of the emergency Coronavirus (2nd) (Scotland) Bill, will go to local authorities to provide support to tenants through the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme. This takes the total funding from the Scottish Government for DHPs to almost £16 million – as well as £60 million funding budgeted to mitigate the impact of the bedroom tax.
Mr Stewart said:
“We all know that the wider impacts of Covid-19 are increasing pressures on households and leading to greater financial hardship, including paying rent. Many more people will now be on benefits for the first time and be subject to the UK Government’s benefit cap while others will have seen their household income decrease substantially and may be struggling to pay their rent.
“We have been looking closely at how to support people during the crisis and I am pleased to announce that we are increasing the amount we have made available for other DHPs - those that are available outside of our full mitigation of the bedroom tax - by a further £5 million to almost £16 million. This will support tenants who are now under severe financial pressures and where the UK welfare state is not providing the safety net it should.”
The funding announced today takes to £77.1 million the amount of Scottish Government Discretionary Housing Payment fund to support tenants struggling with their housing costs or affected by the bedroom tax, where Universal Credit or Housing Benefit does not cover the cost of their rent. That includes: Bedroom tax mitigation, £60 million; other DHPs paid already, £10.9 million; Administrative funding of £1.2 million; and today’s announcement of a further £5 million for DHPs.