Press release

£165m fund to help housing benefit claimants

Councils will receive £165 million to support vulnerable claimants who might need extra support next year (2014 to 2015).

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


This £165 million builds on the £180 million funding this year and ensures continuing financial support.

Councils also have until 3 February 2014 to bid for top-up funds if they need to provide extra support this year.

The Discretionary Housing Payment allocations for councils in 2014/15 were released today (30 January 2014) setting out how much local authorities will receive to provide extra help for claimants as they move through the government’s welfare reforms.

The reforms are a key part of the government’s long-term economic plans to deliver a strong economy that delivers for people who want to work hard and play by the rules.

Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey said:

This funding will ensure we can support vulnerable claimants and help them make the transition.

Capping benefits is returning fairness to the welfare system and reform of the spare room subsidy is absolutely necessary to make a better use of our social housing when over 300,000 are living in overcrowded homes in Britain and around 1.7 million are on social housing waiting lists in England alone.

We are ensuring all working age tenants are treated equally – as claimants receiving housing benefit in private sector already receive support for the number of bedrooms they need and not for spare rooms.

Across the country councils in each region and nation will receive:

  • East Midlands – £7.3 million
  • Eastern England – £10.4 million
  • Outer London – £28.8 million
  • Inner London – £22.8 million
  • North-east – £6.5 million
  • North-west – £17.5 million
  • South-east – £15.7 million
  • South-west – £9.1 million
  • West Midlands – £12.7 million
  • Yorkshire and Humber – £11.1 million
  • Scotland – £15.2 million
  • Wales – £7.9 million

The additional funding pot covers support for claimants affected by Housing Benefit changes including the removal of the spare room subsidy, the benefit cap, and Local Housing Allowance reforms.

This week an advertising campaign was also launched in local press to ensure claimants affected by the spare room subsidy are fully aware of the support available to them from Discretionary Housing Payments, home swapping services or to get into work.

The removal of the spare room subsidy means all working age housing benefit claimants in both social and private rental sectors receive support for the number of bedrooms they need – but not spare rooms.

The benefit cap means claimants no longer receive more in benefits than average household earnings.

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Published 30 January 2014