Torridge adopts hardship fund for ‘short term emergencies’
- Credit: Archant
Fund is designed for cases of extreme financial hardship, but only to help in the short term, says council leader.
A FUND to help residents in dire need has been re-adopted by Torridge District Council.
Council leader Philip Collins proposed the council support an Exceptional Hardship Fund (EHF) for short-term emergencies.
The fund has been set up to cover the shortfall between council tax liability and payments of council tax support.
Cllr Collins said: “Every customer who is entitled to council tax support and who has a shortfall is entitled to make a claim for help from the fund.
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“But let’s be clear - it’s meant to be a short-term emergency payment awarded whilst the customer seeks alternative solutions.
“It’s intended to help in cases of extreme financial hardship and not support a lifestyle and can only be used in respect of council tax.”
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The council has also implemented a discretionary housing payments scheme which could cover some or all of the shortfall between rent and housing benefit.
Cllr Collins added: “We recognise the importance of protecting our most vulnerable customers and also the impact the recent benefits changes forced upon us have on them.
“This fund should ensure that we do protect and support those most in need.”
For more information on the funds look at www.torridge.gov.uk/benefits for Discretionary Housing Payment and www.torridge.gov.uk/counciltax for Exceptional Hardship details.