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Coronavirus: financial support for residents

Read about how we and the government can help to support you financially through the coronavirus pandemic.

Published on: 16 January 2021

Last updated: 4 February 2021

Help with rent and Council Tax

Assistance with Rents 

Local Housing Allowance rates that are used to decide Universal Credit and housing benefit for private renters increase from 1 April 2020. In most of the country, the rates will be set at the 30th percentile of market rents. In Westminster, the rates are capped but the cap amount will increase as follow: 

  • £295.49 for self-contained one-bedroom accommodation; 
  • £365.92 for two-bedroom accommodation; 
  • £441.86 for three-bedroom accommodation; 
  • £593.75 for four-bedroom and larger accommodation. 

The local housing allowance rate is set according to the number of bedrooms your household needs. This increase is in addition to any support provided by local authorities through Discretionary Housing Payments.  

Please note that you will not need to contact us as we will update the relevant resident’s benefit entitlement automatically once more detailed government guidance is received.  

  • If you wish to claim assistance with your rent or general living expenses, please contact the DWP for more information.
  • If you are of working age, help with rent is part of Universal Credit. You claim Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions rather than from us. Rules have been temporarily relaxed for anyone making a new claim and advance payments are available whilst a claim is being decided.  

More information on universal credit can be found on GOV.UK Universal Credit

  • If you are in supported accommodation, temporary accommodation or are a pensioner and you require help with rent via housing benefit (general living expenses are still dealt with by the DWP), please visit our benefit webpages or contact our Benefits Service on 0800 072 0042

You can find out more and claim online. If you can’t claim online, phone us on 0800 072 0042 to register a claim. 

If you already receive either housing costs in your universal credit or housing benefit, you can request extra help with rent called discretionary housing payment. You can find out more about discretionary housing payment on our website where you will find a claim form to download. 

Assistance with council tax 

Everyone that is liable to pay council tax can apply for help to reduce their bill. The help is called council tax support.  

You can find out more about council tax support on our website and either claim online or phone us on 0800 072 0042 to register a claim.  

Government £500M Hardship Fund 

Central government has just issued guidance and funding allocations relating to the £500M Hardship Fund. Most of this funding will be used to provide additional council tax relief for working age council tax support claimants.  

The support will be for claimants who after receipt of their current council tax support entitlement have a balance to pay on their council tax for 2020/21.The government require local authorities to allocate up to £150 to reduce the balance on these council taxpayers council tax accounts.   

There is no need to contact us, as we are able to work out who qualifies for the extra assistance and will be issuing revised bills in due course.