Council To End Top Up Housing Payments

hugh town housesThe Council is to end its discretionary housing payments because so little money has been allocated by the government.

And they say too few people have claimed in the past.

The payments were designed to be a ‘top up’ to fill the gap between the cost of rent and Housing Benefit.

But councillors took the decision at last week’s Full Council meeting to end the scheme after being told the grant offered had dropped from £3,800 this year, to just £170.

Cllr Richard McCarthy said they couldn’t really assist anyone with that level of funding.

And he said it was frustrating that there was so much inconsistency from one year to the next.

But he admitted that the end of the payments would be a burden on one or two people who are struggling to pay their rent.

Cllr Christine Savill said the Council had introduced the payments on the understanding that if the money allocated didn’t cover the costs, they wouldn’t continue.

Finance Officer Sarah Chodkiewicz confirmed there was only one applicant this year.