Residents who are experiencing difficulties with their housing costs are set to benefit from the council’s Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) that was approved at a Haringey Council cabinet meeting this week.

DHPs are short-term awards administered by local authorities to assist people who are facing financial struggles, with funding provided by The Department for Work and Pensions.

Central government has not yet confirmed its DHP allocation to Haringey for 2021/22, but the council’s approval of the policy ensures that support will be in place for residents.

Awarding DHPs to those struggling with the costs of housing can protect families affected by housing insecurity, help them to reduce debt and lessen reliance on temporary accommodation.

The DHP policy reflects the council’s 2019-23 Borough Plan priorities of homelessness prevention and creating a fairer and more equal borough.

This also supports Haringey priorities such as early help and intervention, ensuring residents can find and maintain good quality employment and supporting the elderly and vulnerable to live independently.

The approval by Cabinet underlines the council’s commitment to help sustaining residents’ tenancies, as well as ensuring tenants can secure more affordable accommodation.

Cllr Seema Chandwani, Cabinet Member for Transformation and Public Realm Investment, said: “I’m pleased that the council has approved its Discretionary Housing Payment policy for the next year. With the pandemic causing uncertainty for so many households and rent arrears are increasing, it’s especially important that people know there’s help available and that the council will continue to support our residents across the borough.

“However, the government needs to take seriously the scale of rent arrears that residents are incurring, and with the eviction ban coming to an end in September, we need the funding to ensure we can put into place a more robust homelessness prevention plan and widen the support we can give”.

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