budget

Evictions prevented with help from local authority’s welfare team

In the past year, close to 300 customers have been supported by the local authority’s Welfare and Housing Options Team.

The support takes on various elements but has also led to 47 evictions being prevented, saving families from most likely being presented as homeless and placed in temporary homeless accommodation.

The cost of this to the local authority can be up to £12,000, meaning that the support and early intervention of the team has saved the council more than £560,000.

The team administer a number of key financial supports to customers to allow vulnerable residents to live healthier, more independent lives.

These supports include: Crisis Grants; Council Tax Reduction; Universal Credit; Housing Benefit; Community Care Grant

More than £240,000 was released to customers as a direct result of the Welfare and Housing Options Team being involved.

Councillors will be asked next week to approve the £15,000 funding that will allow for one-off payments of customers who find themselves in between addresses. Some benefits are only payable to one address, so when people move properties, they can often find their benefits being stopped until addresses are updated and systems in Government ‘catch up’.  This £15,000 pot of funding will allow for one-off payments to be made to customers who find themselves in this position.

Scottish Social Security (devolved benefits) will be administered by the Council in the near future, meaning the Team will be responsible for helping even more people in need.  New claims for disability assistance for children and young people will start in summer 2020 and claims for older people’s disability payments will also be open by the end of next year.