Local Authorities: Halton

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 7th February 2012.

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Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Labour, Halton

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the oral answer of 1 February 2012, Official Report, column 920, what work his Department carried out with local authorities; and what discretionary payments are available in respect of Halton constituency.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We are engaging with social housing providers, local authorities and other Government Departments to build an effective implementation and communications strategy that will support tenants, their advisers and housing providers in preparing properly for the introduction of size criteria in the social rented sector. We have conducted a survey of around 200 local authorities and housing associations as well as setting up a social landlord advisory group in conjunction with the Department for Communities and Local Government to help look at the practical implications of the changes.

Discretionary housing payments (DHPs) are payments that provide claimants with further financial assistance when a local authority (LA) considers that help with housing costs is needed. For the current financial year 2011-12 the Department has made available £39,462 to Halton borough council. In 2012-13 the Government contribution will rise to £87,105. The allocation of the Government's contribution in 2013-14 has yet to be determined.

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