New £600,000 fund to soften the ‘bedroom tax’ blow
Renfrewshire Council is setting up a new £600,000 cash pot to help council tenants who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the ‘bedroom tax’.
The money will be available via a new Council Tenant Assistance Fund to help council tenants who receive Housing Benefit and are struggling to pay their rent because they’re affected by under occupancy rules.
Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of the Housing and Community Safety Policy Board said: “This major investment is part of our on-going response to help our tenants cope with the UK Government’s ‘bedroom tax’.
“Between April and July, 684 council tenants applied for Discretionary Housing Payment to assist them with their housing costs, with the majority of those affected by the ‘bedroom tax’.
“But while many have come for support, there are still tenants who are clearly struggling to pay their rent because of ‘bedroom tax’ who haven’t come to us for help. We’ve already said that we won’t evict our tenants who fall into arrears as a result of the ‘bedroom tax’, as long as they’re working with us, and we want them to know that this assistance fund is now available to help them cope with the strain of under occupancy.
“We absolutely do not want local families to face hardship because of the ‘bedroom tax’ and we’ll continue to work with our tenants to help them.”
The Council Tenant Assistance Fund will solely help council tenants in financial hardship because of ‘bedroom tax’. The cash is coming from the Housing Revenue Account which by law, can only be spent on council tenants.
To apply to the Council Tenant Assistance Fund, download a form at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/dhp or you can call 0300 300 0204 to ask for a form to be sent out to you.
Anyone who needs help to fill out a form (and for general financial support) should call Advice Works on 0300 300 1238.
The creation of the Council Tenant Assistance Fund was agreed at the Housing and Community Safety Policy Board earlier today.