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Over £50 million committed to support housing costs for those in financial hardship

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

During 2014/15, local authorities (LAs) in Scotland made just over 118,000 awards under the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) scheme, with a total value of over £50 million granted through to 31st March 2015.

Statistics released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show that between April 2014 and March 2015, local authorities received nearly 132,000 applications to the scheme, which provides financial assistance towards housing costs for those claiming housing benefit. By the end of March 2015, around 130,000 of these claims had been processed and over 118,000 awards were granted. The average payment was around £429.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes To Editors

The full statistical publication is available at:

This publication contains information on the number of applications for DHPs, determinations, awards and the total value of awards spent or committed in each local authority. Local authorities are asked to include in their figures the total value of awards spent or committed through to the end of March 2015. Committed spend occurs, for example, if a local authority decides to award funds for the whole of 2014/15, but this may be paid out in instalments throughout the year rather than in one lump sum.

DHPs are mostly a matter reserved to the UK Government. DHPs are administered in Scotland by the 32 Scottish LAs. DHPs may be awarded when an LA considers that a housing benefit claimant requires further financial assistance towards housing costs.

DHPs can be used to provide support to claimants affected by some of the key welfare reforms, including the introduction of benefit cap, the removal of the spare room subsidy in the social rented sector (also known as the “bedroom tax”) and reductions in Local Housing Allowance.

Scottish Ministers now have the power to determine the limit of local authority DHP expenditure and this applies from 2014/15 onwards. This power came into force on 5th November 2014 after approval by the Privy Council. Subsequently, Scottish Minister’s removed the limit on expenditure for Discretionary Housing Payments, through the Discretionary Housing Payments (Limit on Total Expenditure) Revocation (Scotland) Order 2014. This came into force on 9th December 2014.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:


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