Hywel Williams – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Hywel Williams on 2014-04-08.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what criteria he is distributing the additional £5 million discretionary housing payment for the least densely-populated areas announced on 30 July 2013.

Steve Webb

The £5million rural Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) fund for 2013/14 was allocated to those local authorities (LA) with the smallest population per square metre. The fund was then proportionally distributed using LAs share of the original DHP allocation, i.e. if an LA had an 8% share of the total DHP allocation of the least populated LAs, then they received 8% of the rural fund.

The £5m funding provided in 2014/15 is intended to avoid a disproportionate impact on those affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy in remote and isolated communities. The Government has assessed that the geography in some areas means that potential remedies such as finding work or alternative accommodation, are less readily available, and as a result transitions may take more time.