New service aims to help those suffering cash problems

A NEW service offering help to people who are experiencing money problems has been launched in Richmondshire.

The “Don’t struggle – ask!” service hopes to help the increasing number of residents who are running into financial difficulties due to the changes in the benefits system.

The authority’s welfare spokesmen, Councillors Clive World and Tony Duff, said they wanted to give struggling residents as much help as possible.

“We are making changes to the way we process claims for a key housing grant – our discretionary housing payments, “ said Coun World.

“By increasing the number of ways DHPs can be claimed we are hoping to speed up the processing time – a target of seven working days has been set.”

He said that claims for a DHP would be possible through the Landlord Service and Housing Options team, as well as through the Housing Benefits team.

DHPs can only be claimed by people in receipt of housing benefit but there are no other fixed rules about who can apply or how they can be used. However, there does have to be genuine hardship and a need for assistance.

The amount of DHPs which can be claimed is flexible and the help that can be given can range from help with moving to a smaller home through to helping to prevent homelessness.

To make an application residents are asked to

• Visit a council community office in Richmond, Colburn, Reeth, Leyburn or Hawes

• Phone 01748-829100 for a claim form

• Apply on-line at Richmondshire.gov.uk

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