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Thousands more Scots seek help with housing payments

This news post is almost 9 years old
 

​Discretionary housing payments increasingly relied on by low income Scots

Local Authorities made 84,000 payments to help people struggling with social housing costs, new figures have revealed.

Scottish Government figures reveal that discretionary housing payments (DHPs) were increasingly used between April 2014 to June 2015 with an increase of a 22,812 payments.

The payments are paid to people receiving housing benefit who require additional help and are being used to offset extra charges incurred through the bedroom tax on tenants in Scotland.

Graeme Brown, director of housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland, said:

"The figures show the desperate circumstances faced by tens of thousands of households across Scotland on a daily basis.

We urge every local authority to do all they can to help as many people as possible

“That 84,000 households received the help they needed to pay for their homes is good news, but the plain fact that so many could not afford to cover their housing costs in the first place just goes to show the true extent of Scotland’s housing crisis,” he said.

“We urge every local authority to do all they can to help as many people as possible as a matter of urgency and anyone struggling to pay their rent to apply for help that is available. Failure to do so would mean that some people would face the very real threat of mounting rent arrears, eviction and homelessness.”

The payments were, however, being used to paper over cracks in policies, like the Bedroom Tax, Brown said, and urged the Scottish Government to use all powers available to abolish it.

He added: “To meaningfully tackle our housing crisis, we need to build more affordable homes, including 10,000 new social homes every year for the foreseeable future.”