Over 45,500 hard-pressed households in Scotland have claimed £15.4 million in emergency housing help from April to November last year, figures published show.

The figures show 45,772 households claimed £15,365,860 in the eight month period, almost a fourfold increase compared to just under £4 million in 2012/13.
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are a reserved responsibility and come under the remit of the Department of Work and Pensions. DHPs are made by Local Authorities to housing benefit claimants who qualify for support.

The Scottish Government contributed and extra £20 million to the DHP fund in 2013/14 to help those struggling most with the costs of the ‘Bedroom Tax’. This brings the total amount of funding to over £35 million – the maximum permitted under UK legislation.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson commenting on these statistics said:

“The Scottish Government has provided an extra £204,000 in this financial year to help those affected by the Bedroom Tax in the Falkirk Council area.

“That money has enabled Falkirk Councils to top up its Discretionary Housing Payments to the maximum amount that Westminster legislation allows – and help hard-pressed households across our district.

“I’m also pleased that the Scottish Government will be providing a further £20 million for next year which will include Falkirk so that it can continue this vital help.