Hackney Council has a plan for helping tenants who have difficulty saving the funds necessary to move into a new rental unit. It actually involves utilising a couple of different approaches to assisting with this heavy demand.
Rental assistance can be provided to cover the shortfall of what a prospective tenant needs to be able to move into a new place. Perhaps they have a small portion of what is necessary but cannot meet the required amount without going into debt. These two schemes help cover this need, especially when universal credit or housing benefit do not go far enough.
Council schemes are implemented in a manner that maximises the impact yet minimises the costs borne by taxpayers. It is a delicate balance that means that sometimes there are worthy applicants for aid whose requests are unfortunately denied.
Hackney Rent Deposit Scheme
Hackney Council administers the Rent Deposit Scheme for tenants who cannot come up with the required deposit amount on their own. Whether an emergency occurred or they simply lack the savings, the scheme can provide the necessary funds to be approved for a new tenancy.
Applications for aid are reviewed by the Housing Options and Advice team. A team member will conduct a screening questionnaire and review any issues on an application to determine the appropriateness of the scheme as a solution for a particular resident.
Many residents are referred to the scheme through various aid organisations and agencies, including the Housing Advice and Homelessness Centre. Interested tenants may call directly at 020 8356 5836.
Hackney Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are a solution to repair busted budgets during a temporary financial crisis. DHPs can be authorised to cover the deposit and rent in advance. Even moving costs can be included. This helps individuals, couples and families get safely moved into a home that they can afford.
Applicants must already be receiving Housing Benefit or approved for Universal Credit. Usually extraordinary circumstances may need to be demonstrated in order for an approval to be granted. This shows that a severe hardship has occurred that could lead to financial ruin without help from Council. Those who can prove the greatest need and effort to improve are often selected for a grant award.
The budget for DHPs is very limited. The fund is often exhausted prior to the start of the next fiscal year on 1 April. Enquiries may be made at 020 8356 3399.