The council’s Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) policy is to be formalised and will operate from the 2013/14 financial year, subject to a period of consultation with relevant organisations and key stakeholders.
The consultation will also take into account any feedback on the policy from key stakeholders and interested parties to assist with the completion of the full equality impact assessment.
The policy provides extra support to cover shortfalls between rental liability and payment of housing benefit, where a claim is made for additional financial support and the applicant is receiving at least the minimum amount of housing benefit. It does not cover payments in respect of Localised Council Tax Support from April 2013.
While the funding from central government has been considerably increased, the amount available to support claimants is significantly less than the impact welfare reforms may have on the Island’s housing benefit claimants. The policy has been developed to give a consistent and fair approach to providing additional assistance for the most vulnerable (while they review their situation following the welfare reforms).
Once the policy is formalised the council will be in a position to deal more effectively with our vulnerable and disadvantaged people. The council will be able to provide an appropriate and responsive programme of payments to Island residents in genuine hardship (which cannot be met through other means). This will mean tenancies can be sustained where there is no alternative to short term assistance.
Have your say
The Isle of Wight Council would value your views and comments on the policy (either from you as an individual or on behalf of your organisation)
Click here to read the draft Discretionary Housing Payment policy and to leave your comments please click on the 'Contact' tab above, then select the 'Send a message to this service' button and complete the form.
For a paper copy of the policy please write to Discretionary Housing Payment Policy, Isle of Wight Council Offices, Broadway, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 9EA or tel: (01983) 823653.
Please submit your comments by 2nd August 2013
Other supporting documents
The 4 June 2013 Cabinet Meeting Discretionary Housing Payments Policy report can be viewed here.
To access the Discretionary Housing Payments Policy Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) please click here.
To access the Department for Works and Pensions DHP guidance manual as amended in April 2013 to reflect a number of significant welfare reforms please click here.