New DHP policy for the 1st April 2013

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  • #44314
    Richard
    Participant

    I would welcome forum members advice on this. Putting together a policy at the moment is difficult as we do not yet know what level of funding we will be receiving for DHP. Having said that we do know that Government will be increasing our funding to take into account the significant changes that have and will be taking place. In our our area, the major landlords are RSLs and they have got great concerns over the impact on the bedroom restrictions coming in from April 13. I have got hold of a copy of the draft DHP guidance manual as well as the Circular A4/2012.  

    Looking at the guidance manual, the government is increasing nationally the pot of DHP available for properties impacted by size criteria by £30 million pounds. The Government has said that "We expect that most claimants affected by this measure will find ways of making up the shortfall themselves, in order to remain in their existing home." The quote is taken directly from the guidance manual and I have to say I find it breathtaking in its confidence.

    Reading on in Circular A/4 "The money is aimed specifically at two groups – disabled people living in significantly adapted accommodation – including any adaptations made for disabled children; and foster carers, whose housing benefit is reduced because of a bedroom being used by, or kept free for, foster children. The expectation is that this money will be prioritised for these groups."

    On the face of it the new DHP policy will need to be very restrictive when considering  awards of DHP for residents of RSLs. Not wishing to be anti RSL, my policy will only allow tennants of RSLs an award of DHP where they have made significant adaptions for disabled people/ children and for bedrooms used or kept free for foster children. So no awards for JSA claimants or claimants who are disabled who have not made adaptions.  I would welcome your opinions.

    #125520
    John Boxall
    Participant

    Basically my view is that DHP’s are just that – Discretionary so I would be vary cagey about being seen to ‘fetter my discretion’

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #125619
    Richard
    Participant

    Thank you John, I’m grateful for your view.

    #125701
    Anonymous
    Guest

    The other relevant issue, and something DWP do not seem to have considered at all, is that disabled people are the very client group who have extra, disregarded income to meet additional housing costs. In fact they have money specifically for that purpose and it’s called DLA (care component). Why then would you consider giving these people a DHP as well when you have many applicants with NO additional funds. Unfortunately DWP have already raised expectations which we will find hard to deflate.

    #125713
    nickkeogh
    Participant

    I wouldn’t have considered DLA to be for additional housing costs Chris? :~

    #125716
    Anonymous
    Guest

    It’s all about the allocation of scarce resources. Most disabled people will qualify for the extra room because they have an overnight carer but I have seen two cases recently where this is not the case. They are both couples, and in one case both of them are in receipt of DLA, but because they are couples they are not eligible for 2 bedrooms yet they are currently living in a two bedroom property. If everybody who has a shortfall applies for a DHP (as DWP are encouraging them to do) we will be cleaned out, so you have to do a financial assessment as well as a physical one. It is easy for the DWP to nudge us into paying DHPs for the disabled because that ticks all the right boxes, but it fails to take into account that disabled people often have much higher incomes than similar couples who haven’t got the disability. All I am saying is that I don’t think it is unreasonable to use that income in situations where, you could argue, the money was intended to be spent.

    #125717
    John Boxall
    Participant

    I think that in theory at least where there is sufficent income for a disabled applicant to meet their essential expenditure, I do take DLA into account.

    In additon to this of course, doing this often reduces the level of DHP making the award much more sustainable

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #126218
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I have decided to redraft my DHP policy and hope that we get the circular advising us of the likely funding shortly after Xmas – anyone heard a rumour when this is likely? I am likely to link a DHP award to floatig support – in that anyone who wishes to get assistance wil have to commit to floating support in order to receive some measure of award. If they default on this arrangment then DHP ceases immediately. Hope to get some of the money from the anti-homelessness budget (housing strategy) to supplement my likely meagre handout! Like Oliver Twist at Xmas I will surely want more! up the revolution

    #127228
    Linda Ritchie
    Participant

    I was wondering if anyone was willing to share a draft of a new DHP policy?

    #127244
    webdivauk
    Participant

    We’ve recently done a draft our policy and would be interested to see what others have done for the welfare changes. Please PM me for a copy of our draft policy.

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