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Agenda Item No. 3

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Discretionary Housing Payments Review Committee: 14th February, 2018

 

Report of the Head of Finance

 

Discretionary Housing Payment Appeal Process

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To apprise Members of the Council's procedure for considering an appeal against the Council's refusal to apply a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) in respect of Housing Benefit.

Recommendation

That the Discretionary Housing Payment Review Committee note the procedure in relation to the appeal process.

Reason for the Recommendation

To apprise Members.

Background

  1. The Council is responsible for administering Housing Benefit in accordance with the statutory requirement to assist claimants to pay their rental obligations based on their financial circumstances and the level of rent payable.
  2. The Council has the discretion to further assist the claimant using Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) based on other circumstances brought to the Council's attention to maintain their tenancy.  The Council's policy is attached as Appendix 1 to the report.  Attached as Appendix 2 is the Department of Work and Pension's Discretionary Housing Payment Guidance Manual (including Local Authority Good Practice Guide).

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The Council has the obligation to administer DHP on behalf of the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) and the budgeted amount of DHP is decided by the DWP annually and allocated to each Council.
  2. An appeal has been lodged by an individual against the refusal to grant a DHP and the detailed paperwork relating to the appeal is contained in Part II of the agenda.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. As set out in the report contained in Part II of the agenda.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. There are no sustainability and climate change implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. A Corporate discretion is subject review by a committee of members who have no prior decision in relation to this application.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no equal opportunities implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. There are no corporate/service objectives of this appeal.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for decision by this Committee.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. This matter is not specific to any particular ward and no other consultation was required.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. None.

Background Papers

Vale of Glamorgan Council: "Policy for the Administration of Discretionary Housing Payments," April 2013.  Department for Work and Pensions: "Discretionary Housing Payments Guidance Manual (including Local Authority Good Practice Guide)." December 2016.

Contact Officer

Nigel Smith - Operational Manager Exchequer

Officers Consulted

C Delaney - Benefit and Payments Manager

Responsible Officer:

Carys Lord - Head of Finance