Help for those on Housing Benefit

Tenants in East Dunbartonshire who are struggling to pay their rent and receive Housing Benefit may be entitled to help.

The ‘Bedroom Tax’ brought in last year means council and housing association tenants deemed to have one or more spare bedrooms have had their Housing Benefit reduced.

People are being urged to find out if they are eligible for Discretionary Housing Payments.

This is a temporary, time-limited payment that can be made to help tenants to adjust and manage their finances to be able to meet rent commitments in the future.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie understands the impact the changes are having on people and is urging residents to address their change in circumstances rather than getting into debt.

She said: “It is really important that anyone who is struggling to meet their rent charge seeks help urgently to see what support is available.

“Discretionary Housing Payment is just one type of support and there are others in terms of Welfare Reform Advisers both in the council’s housing service and through other independent organisations such as CAB.

“We do not want people to ignore a debt situation which may lead to further action being taken.

“There is help available and advisers can talk through the options available to anyone who finds themselves in difficulty.”

For more information contact the council’s customer services team on 0300 123 4510 or East Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau on 0141 775 3220 for an appointment an adviser.