Lincoln people claiming housing benefit, who are struggling to pay their rent, are being reminded they can apply for additional support from the City of Lincoln Council.
The city council was given £194,000 this year under the Government’s Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme to help people cope with changes to housing benefit.
Changes included the ‘bedroom tax’, which saw people receiving less housing benefit if they had one or more spare bedrooms.
DHP grants were increased from April 2013.
Last year the council spent its full allowance of £199,741 and secured an additional £30,000 after a successful bid to the Department for Work and Pensions.
The city council has helped people in a variety of circumstances, including:
- Those affected by the ‘bedroom tax’
- Those requiring help with a rent deposit or rent in advance
- Under-occupation due to an unborn child
- Under-occupation due to a non-resident child
- Those where the customer or partner require an extra room due to a disability
- Those that have had to give up work to care for a family member
For more information about the schemes and funding available people can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call the council on 01522 873355 or pop in to City Hall.
A Discretionary Housing Payment can be used to help top up housing benefit where it’s not covering the full rent, and people struggling to afford rent in advance for a new home can also apply for a share of the cash.
Anyone eligible for housing benefit who is responsible for paying rent and requires further financial assistance with housing costs can apply for help under the scheme.
The council also has an Exceptional Hardship Fund available to customers receiving Council Tax Support who are struggling to pay their council tax.
Help filling in the forms is available for anyone who needs it and advisers will go through the documents with applicants.
Council leader Ric Metcalfe said: “One of our three main priorities as a council is to protect the poorest people in our city.
“Shelter is a basic need and we would urge anyone worried about making their rent payments to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
“Last year we gave out more than £213,000 to help those who needed it most.
“It’s a common misconception that only people who are out of work claim housing benefit, when in fact we have more than 2,000 claimants who are in work but eligible for financial support.
“I would urge anyone finding it hard to pay their rent to get in touch to find out if we can help.”