Decision Maker: Cabinet Member - Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services
Decision status: Awaiting Implementation
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
This report provides details of a review of the Council’s policy and approach to making awards of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) in line with recent national guidance provided by the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).
DHPs provide financial support towards housing costs and are paid by a local authority when they are satisfied that a claimant needs further financial assistance with housing costs and is in receipt of either Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC) with housing costs towards rental liability.
Owner -occupiers are not eligible to receive DHPs, with the exception of Shared Ownership properties which carry a rental liability.
1. That the approach established by Sefton Council for the award and allocation of DHPs, in line with national guidance, be agreed and continued.
Reasons for the Decision(s):
The DHP scheme has been in place for many years; during this time, the Council has built up expertise and local knowledge enabling the government funding allocation to be profiled to meet demand over the course of the year to support local needs.
The review has established that Sefton Council’s scheme continues to operate in line with national guidance ensuring that the annual funding provided by the DWP is fully spent to support local residents.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected: (including any Risk Implications)
Any recommendation to change the established policy may either:
1. limit eligibility and reduce the number of applications received meaning that the Council is unable to spend the government allocation and have to return funding at the end of the financial year, or
2. cause a significant increase in applications meaning that the Council has to refuse a greater number as well as managing the additional administrative burden.
Publication date: 19/08/2022
Date of decision: 19/08/2022
Effective from: 31/08/2022