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Discretionary housing payments can already be used to help people on housing benefit or council tax benefit to pay for rent in advance. The funding for discretionary housing payments has been increased by £130 million over the current spending review period.
Since April this year a crisis loan for items can only be awarded following a disaster such as flooding. From April 2013 the current funding of £178.2 million per annum for the discretionary social fund will be apportioned nationally between England, Scotland and Wales. The funding for items following a disaster is included in this amount.
Budgeting loans and universal credit budgeting advances will also be available to eligible recipients. These can be used to purchase replacement white goods and household items or for rent in advance.