- £10 million transitional payments to all councils
- £5 million to fund Discretionary Housing payments in rural areas where there is likely to be no chance of a move to a smaller property
- A new £20 million Discretionary Housing Payment fund
I am in constant dialogue (with the UK Government) because I’ve gathered evidence myself, I’ve seen people who are going to be affected by this. I’ll be working to make sure people are not hurt.
After months of research, listening and detailed discussions about the implementation of housing benefit reform this is a sensible and responsive move that will assist many people.
A key objective of the policy is to incentive people to move to the right sized houses for their needs and to make work pay. However, with any big change there are unintended consequences.
I know of people who should not be facing additional housing costs as a result of the reforms and I have been determined that changes should be made to the policy to address this issue.
I am grateful for the support of Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and MP John Thurso in achieving a doubling of the support fund.
Our under-occupancy policy means that as soon as a Stockport Homes resident says they want to downsize, any arrears that are accrued due to their under-occupancy will be isolated. Once they move to smaller accommodation those arrears will be paid off by the hardship fund not by the resident. Those arrears are not the fault of the resident, they didn’t cause them, they didn’t ask for them and they shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s actions. That’s a basic principle of natural justice, isn’t it?