Housing benefits and rent during the coronavirus outbreak
Benefits you can apply for, how to apply for a council or housing association home and what to do if you are homeless.
If your income is affected by coronavirus you may be able to claim benefits to support you through this period. For information on the help and support that might be available to you, visit the Policy in Practice website
Support to you
We understand that many residents may be facing financial challenges at this time. Our teams are working as hard as they can to finalise the administration around the workstreams issued by the government to support residents and businesses.
Some of the support available to residents:
• Local Council Tax Support - help with your Council Tax payments
• Household Support Fund - The Household Support Fund will be used to help people with food, fuel and other household costs
• Exceptional Hardship Fund - people who are experiencing exceptional financial hardship can apply for help from the Exceptional Hardship Fund
• Universal Credit - this may help with your living costs
• Employment Support Allowance - this is for people who cannot work due to sickness or self-isolation
• Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) - Extra help you might be able to get for housing costs, including rent payments and moving costs
Recovery of overpayment of benefits
The Department of Work and Pensions have announced the suspension of overpayment recovery for a period of 3 months on all Universal Credit and other DWP legacy benefits. Uttlesford District Council has also implemented a temporary freeze on the recovery of overpaid Housing Benefit (HB).
No deductions will therefore be taken from ongoing HB entitlements for the period 16 March to 14 June 2020. You do not need to contact us to request this freeze - the change has already been applied to our payments system automatically.
If you need further advice or support in paying your Council Tax you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01799 510510.
Uttlesford District Council tenants
Council tenants are expected to make every effort to pay the rent due, however the Council are aware that you may be facing additional difficulties due the current coronavirus situation. If this is the case and you are struggling to meet your rent payments please do not hesitate to contact the rent team who will be happy to help you with any concerns.
Council housing applications
Following the government's advice that people can move house, the council restarted advertising council and housing association properties that are available for allocating to applicants on the council's housing register from Friday 22 May.
The HomeOption Freesheet is being published on the HomeOption website every Friday thereafter. Shortlists close every Wednesday at 1pm.
Our Housing Options Officers are here to help and are experienced in assisting people in various situations including:
- People who have lost their accommodation
- People who are worried about losing their home
- People who need to move
The Shelter coronavirus housing advice page also has a wide range of useful information.
We are providing homelessness services as normal. For further information see our Housing Options and homelessness frequently asked questions (FAQs) page.