Help for Pendle residents struggling to pay rent

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Pendle residents who receive housing benefit but are still struggling to pay their rent may get help from Pendle Council through the Government’s Discretionary Housing Payments.

But if you think you’re eligible you need to apply now, because the deadline is Monday, March 31st.

DHPs are designed to help those on housing benefit who have been affected by the welfare reform changes – so if you have a shortfall between the cost of your rent and the value of the housing benefit you receive, you could be eligible.

Coun. Joe Cooney, Leader of Pendle Council, said: “We’re aware some residents who receive benefits have seen reductions in their payments since April, when the welfare reform changes came in.

“We don’t want to see anyone going through extreme financial hardship and being at risk of falling into arrears on their rent, so if you’ve been affected and think you might be entitled to this help, apply for it now.

“We need to receive applications by March 31st, so it’s important you do this soon.”

Coun. Linda Crossley, who has responsibility for finance, said the payments are for a maximum of six months only and cannot be relied upon long-term.

She added: “We know times and circumstances are challenging and we’ll do everything we can to support residents to make sure they can pay their rent, minimise arrears and stay in their homes.

“All cases will be judged on an applicant by applicant basis and are based on personal financial circumstances.

“We have a limited pot available so I’d urge residents to come forward quickly.”

To find out if you’re eligible for DHPs or to apply, pick up an application form from any council shop or telephone 661800.

The leader of the council’s Labour group, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, said Coun. Cooney was on the verge of returning money back to the Government due to it not being spent.

He said: “The point was highlighted to him months ago about him not keeping a finger on the pulse on this matter.

“Pendle Council has left it until now to make a plea to people to apply, there is still 50% of this budget left to spend and he will more than likely be sending money back at a time when one in three requests have been refused.

“He needs to wake up and help people struggling across Pendle instead of returning money back to George Osborne.”