Appendix 2 – DHP Case Studies

To protect the residents’ identity, the names and some of the details below have bene changed.

Kathleen

Kathleen is women who is 60 and lives in the private rented sector. Her property became unaffordable due to a rent increase, and she had a shortfall between her Local Housing Allowance and her rent of £59 per week. The resident had been looking for work to afford her full rent but has found it difficult due to her age. She had used up all of her savings to pay her rent before seeking assistance with a DHP. After the first DHP meeting various options were discussed including moving to a social housing property for the over 55’s. She was supported in applying to the housing register and getting a housing assessment for over 55s accommodation. She was successful in bidding, and so now has both affordable and more secure accommodation.

Mariamma

Mariamma is a single mum of 5 living who was placed by our private sector team into a property in our Rent Guarantee Scheme. She had a large benefit shortfall caused by the Benefit Cap, of £1,000 per month. The resident was supported to seek debt advice, and in setting up deductions from Universal Credit to pay her landlord directly, and in making an arrangement to reduce her arrears. She then found a part job but she wasn’t working enough hours to be exempt from the benefit cap. She was encouraged to ask her employer for additional hours. The resident increased her hours from 15 to 20 hours per week and is now earning enough to be exempt from the benefit cap.

Shannon

Shannon is a home choice tenant and had a benefit shortfall due to the benefit cap of £120 per week. She was previously working but due to having to her son’s hours at school reduced, she had to stop work. She was hoping to return to work so needed a DHP for a short while. However, due ongoing issues with her son’s behaviour, that wasn’t possible. I discussed options with resident in meetings including applying for DLA for her son. The resident was at first reluctant but after a number of conversations she agreed and was recently awarded DLA and is no longer affected by the benefit cap.