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Nearly £50 million spent to support housing costs for those in financial hardship

Published: 31 May 2016 09:30
Part of:
Statistics

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

During 2015/16, Local Authorities (LAs) in Scotland made around 116,000 awards under the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) scheme, with a total value of £49.2 million.

Statistics released today by Scotland's Chief Statistician show that between April 2015 and March 2016, Local Authorities received around 127,000 applications to the scheme, which provides financial assistance towards housing costs for those claiming housing benefit. By the end of March 2016, around 125,000 of these claims had been processed and over 116,000 awards were granted. The average payment was around £425.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at:
http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/dhp

DHPs are mostly a matter reserved to the UK Government. DHPs are administered in Scotland by the 32 Scottish Local Authorities (LAs). DHPs may be awarded when an LA considers that a housing benefit claimant requires further financial assistance towards housing costs. DHPs can be used to provide support to claimants affected by some of the key welfare reforms, including the introduction of benefit cap, the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy in the social rented sector (also known as the "bedroom tax") and reductions in Local Housing Allowance.

Once fully enacted the Scotland Act 2016 transfers responsibility for DHPs to the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government is fully committed to re-imbursing Local Authorities for the impact of the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy. Following the publication of these statistics, the second tranche of Scottish Government DHP funding for 2015/16 will be made available to LAs.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About