Brentwood Borough Council

Brentwood Borough Council

Quick Links

Skip Navigation | Home page | Site map | Search | Help | Complaints procedure | Disclaimer | Feedback | Access key details
Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 14358

DHP spending and applications 2016-2017

Request

I am seeking information about Discretionary Housing Payments awards and DHP spending at your council in the most recent financial year (April 1 2016 to March 31 2017).


Could you send me answers to these questions:


1. What was the council's total DHP budget (spent and unspent) for the 2016-2017 financial year?


2. What percentage of the council's total DHP funding for 2016-2017 was paid out in awards?


3. Did your council exceed its government Discretionary Housing Payment allocation in the 2016-2017 financial year?


4. If Yes, did your council top up its government allocation?


5. Did your council have any unspent DHP budget at the end of the 2016-2017 year? If Yes, how much?


6. How many applications for Discretionary Housing Payments were made to your council by eligible applicants in the 2016-2017 financial year?

(By “eligible applicants,” I mean DHP applicants who were in receipt of housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs at the time of their applications and who applied for a Discretionary Housing Payment for help with housing payment problems that
DHPs can be used to cover (for example, the bedroom tax, rent shortfall due to LHA caps, rent in advance and tenancy deposit assistance, etc).


7. How many of those applications were rejected/unsuccessful?


8. What were the three main reasons that eligible DHP applicants had their DHP applications turned down in the 2016-2017 financial year?


9. Does your council apply conditions to DHP awards (for example, must people agree to participate in debt advice/debt management sessions or training or other help in order to secure a DHP?)


10. If the answer to Q9 is Yes, what conditions apply?


11. Does your council restrict the number of DHP awards an applicant can receive?

Response

1. What was the council's total DHP budget (spent and unspent) for the 2016-2017 financial year? £66,315.00


2. What percentage of the! council's total DHP funding for 2016-2017 was paid out in awards? 100% was paid out in awards


3. Did your council exceed its government Discretionary Housing Payment allocation in the 2016-2017 financial year? No – Brentwood Borough Council kept within the set budget


4. If Yes, did your council top up its government allocation? N/A


5. Did your council have any unspent DHP budget at the end of the 2016-2017 year? If Yes, how much? No unspent budget at the end of the financial year.


6. How many applications for Discretionary Housing Payments were made to your council by eligible applicants in the 2016-2017 financial year? 205 applications were made for the 2016/17 financial year. These applicants had a range of reasons for why they applied including rent shortfalls, benefit cap, under-occupancy, etc

(By "eligible applicants," I mean DHP applicants who were in receipt of housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs at the time of their applications and who applied for a Discretionary Housing Payment for help with housing payment problems that
DHPs can be used to cover (for example, the bedroom tax, rent shortfall due to LHA caps, rent in advance and tenancy deposit assistance, etc).


7. How many of those applications were ! rejected/unsuccessful? 69 applications were refused


8. What were the three main reasons that eligible DHP applicants had their DHP applications turned down in the 2016-2017 financial year? Customers had already had DHP before, income was higher than allowable expenses and no response from Customer to further information requested to support their application.


9. Does your council apply conditions to DHP awards (for example, must people agree to participate in debt advice/debt management sessions or training or other help in order to secure a DHP?) We do not have any set conditions in place but we do encourage Customers to seek advice from third parties i.e CAB, Family Mosaic, Step Change etc. If a second application is made from the same Customer we will ask what steps that have taken to alleviate their financial hardship since their last award, including asking if they have contacted the relevant organisations.


10. If the answer to Q9 is Yes, what conditions apply? N/A.


11. Does your council restrict the number of DHP awards an applicant can receive? There is no set number of awards that an applicant can have, it all depends on the individual case and the circumstances surrounding it.