Tenants urged to apply for discretionary housing payments

TENANTS across Barrow who are under financial pressure and need help to pay their rent are encouraged to apply for the Discretionary Housing Payment fund. 

Barrow Borough Council has been awarded £148,902 to help residents who are struggling to meet their accommodation costs  in the area. 

A Discretionary Housing Payment provides help to tenants who are struggling with their rent costs due to a shortfall of Housing Benefit or Rent Element of Universal Credit.  It can also be used towards moving costs and upfront deposits or advance rent.

Councillor Kevin Hamiliton, Barrow Borough Council spokesperson for housing, said he anticipated and hoped more people would apply for the fund following the pressures from Coronavirus and lockdown. 

He said: “I would really urge anyone who is struggling to pay their accommodation fees to get in touch and put an application forward for this funding. 

“Especially with Covid-19 this funding will be very much needed by many across Barrow who find themselves on benefits for the first time and need help. 

“Unfortunately, we can’t help our residents unless they put themselves forward and apply. This grant could make a huge difference to their lives so it’s imperative that they put in an application.”

To apply you must be entitled to Housing Benefits or Universal Credit - provided this includes a Housing Element towards rental liability - and require further financial assistance with housing costs. 

Awards from the Discretionary Housing Payments Fund, which comes from the Department for Work and Pensions every year, is by application only and available to anyone who meets the criteria.

Last year Barrow Borough Council was granted £110,355 and in 2018 the council received £131,950.