Hackney Council announces measures to support residents through the coronavirus pandemic
PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 March 2020
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Hackney Council has announced measures to support the vulnerable and affected families throughout the coronavirus epidemic.
Around 20,000 families and single people on low incomes will receive a further rebate of up to £150 on their council tax bill, and hundreds more will have access to crisis cash.
Working-age residents eligible for the council tax reduction scheme will automatically receive the discount on their 2020/21 bills, while pensioners on a low income and young people leaving care already get 100 per cent of their council tax paid.
An additional £500,000 will also be invested into the council’s discretionary crisis support scheme, which residents can apply to for urgent financial support with emergency needs. A further £120,000 has been invested to support Discretionary Housing Payments for those needing support to pay rent.
Council tax discounts will be made from the borough’s allocation of the coronavirus hardship fund announced by the government in the budget earlier this month and intended to target support at those on the lowest incomes. Delivering this through the council tax reduction scheme means these households don’t need to apply for support and we can apply the discount directly.
The council will also stop all council tax debt collection or enforcement action in cases resulting from coronavirus.
The council’s housing chief, Cllr Rebecca Rennison, said: “Residents in Hackney are worried about their families, incomes and jobs, and we will do everything we can to support them through this very difficult period.
“This funding will provide urgent help for those residents on the lowest incomes and most exposed to the financial effects of coronavirus.
“We know that there are lots of people already feeling the impact of this unprecedented pandemic and we want Hackney residents to know we are there for them.
“It’s vital that residents are aware of all of the extra support that is already on offer and get in touch with us now if they are worried.”
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, added: “This financial support will be targeted to those that need it most. For residents with immediate support needs, especially around food – or if you are concerned about someone in Hackney who is vulnerable – please get intouch with our support hub.”
Anyone who needs support, or people who know someone who does, should visit the council’s dedicated coronavirus support hub.
The council is working closely with its service providers to apply the discount as soon as possible. We are also exploring how we can channel support to residents with no recourse to public funds.
The council is committed to urgently exploring what other additional support residents need and ensuring that this hardship funding reaches residents most affected.
To apply for help through the topped-up funds, residents should apply online for discretionary housing payments or through the discretionary crisis support scheme.
Other support options for residents who need financial support, include applying for universal credit, applying for housing benefit or council tax support.
Click here to join the discussion in our coronavirus Facebook group.
Click here for a directory of agencies that are helping people during the pandemic.
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