Welcome for cash help for Torfaen households hit by the Universal Credit cut

Poverty Woman shopping in supermarket
Photo by Imants Kaziļuns on Unsplash
NewsOctober 18th, 2021

The Bevan Foundation has welcomed innovative steps being taken by Torfaen Council to mitigate the impact of the cut to Universal Credit

Torfaen Council has committed to increase by £4 a week the amount of Discretionary Housing Payment provided to people in the borough.  Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) help people who receive benefits with their housing costs, for example if their rent is higher than the amount they receive through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. 

Around 900 families in Torfaen currently an average of £11 a week towards their housing costs, and they will receive the uplift automatically. Torfaen Council has also made provision for households who may become newly-eligible for DHPs to receive the uplift.  

Speaking to the Bevan Foundation, Anthony Hunt, Leader of Torfaen Council and Bevan Foundation trustee said:

The idea stemmed from a conversation with my revs and bens team about what we could do quite quickly to bridge the gap caused by the cut to Universal Credit. While it’s effectively a DHP payment it doesn’t matter what it is that’s causing families financial difficulties, it’s a way to increase their income and to stave off homelessness. It’s nothing like £20, but it should hopefully make a difference to those who receive it.

Torfaen’s commitment is likely to make a real difference to families affected over what is sure to be an incredibly difficult winter. Speaking on behalf of the Bevan Foundation, Dr Victoria Winckler said:

The action being taken by Torfaen shows that local authorities in Wales do have some powers to ease the pressure on households.  £4 per week does not sound like a lot of money, but it is enough to buy an extra 4 loaves of bread or keep the heating on for a day. It is vital that the Welsh Government and Welsh local authorities use every tool at their disposal to enable families to get through what will be a tough winter. 

Torfaen Council has topped up the funding it receives from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Welsh Government to the maximum permitted in order to take this action.  At the time of writing they understand they are the only local authority in Wales to take this innovative step.



Search and filter the archive using any of the following fields:

  • Choose Type:

  • Choose Focus:

  • Choose Tag: