Search

Havering housing benefit applicants face three week wait

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 February 2018

Pressure on the government to act on empty homes has been mounting in recent years. Photo: PA.

Pressure on the government to act on empty homes has been mounting in recent years. Photo: PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Havering housing benefit applicants’ waiting time is just below the national average, data shows.

New housing benefit applicants in Havering are having to wait almost three weeks for their claims to be processed, new data has revealed.

Between July and September last year, new claimants waited on average 19 days before their application was completed, according to data from the Department for Work and Pensions.

That’s slightly below the British average of 22 days, which includes weekends.

This waiting time can be worrying for applicants, and the housing charity, Shelter says they can be threatened with eviction and face homelessness.

Over the same period in 2016 applicants had to wait longer with an average delay of 22 days.

According to the figures, the local authority processed 703 new cases over the three months.

In total there are 14,181 housing benefit claimants in Havering.

A spokesman from Havering Council said: “We are pleased that application times are improving for our residents.

“It’s a reflection of the hard work and education of our staff, who are committed to delivering the best service possible, at a time of reduced resources and limited funding.”

Residents are eligible for housing benefit if they rent, are on a low income or other benefits, and if their savings are below £16,000.

The amount you receive differs depending on whether you rent from the council, or privately, your salary and whether you have any spare rooms.

Havering was quicker at dealing with current claimants who had changed their living circumstances.

Those applications took on average 9 days to complete.

Charities have warned that delays in processing benefits can have a serious impact on the applicants’ lives.

A spokeswoman for Turn2us, a charity which helps people in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, said: “People who apply for housing benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit do so because they need it.

“That is why it is crucial that people receive this help as quickly as possible. It is what stands between them and homelessness.”

The government is currently rolling out Universal Credit across the country, however it had not reached Havering when this data was recorded.

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to residents in a local park when a woman came running towards us, shouting that she needed a defibrillator urgently.

Yesterday, 15:00

Farming was very different 200 years ago as Prof Ged Martin’s story of an Emerson Park landowner shows

I’m not normally one to buy into conspiracy theories, they’re only put out there to keep us too busy to think about the real things that are going on.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 08:00

It’s unfortunate that way back in the 1960s a well-meaning gesture to honour a Battle of Britain hero, went a little awry.

Fri, 17:00

Burke told police officers that he wasn’t sure if it was himself, or another man driving at the time.

Fri, 12:49

Jamie Brown of Archant Local Impact explains how you can build brand awareness.

Fri, 12:17

Emergency services were called to the crash at around 7.30 this morning.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now