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Vulnerable to benefit from second homes tax

Published: 12 June 2017

Projects supporting vulnerable adults and young women fleeing domestic abuse are among those receiving our support.

Since the rules on second homes changed in 2004, people owning properties classed as second homes have had to pay 90% of the Council Tax on them.

Members of Cabinet today (9 June 2017) agreed to allocate 75% of this additional income in the four areas of Derbyshire most affected by second home ownership to increase support and housing services for vulnerable people.

Council Tax on second homes will generate £566,000 in each of the next two years which will be shared among projects in Amber Valley, Derbyshire Dales, High Peak and South Derbyshire.

Amber Valley Borough Council will receive £80,000 which will go to a number of projects aimed at supporting vulnerable people.

The largest portion of the money for Amber Valley - £44,500 a year - will go towards the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), which all councils run to pay for adaptations in people’s homes.

Extra funding will also go towards a service supporting people who are applying for adaptations and guide them through the process with £20,500 a year going to the Home Improvement Agency which gives residents housing support and advice.

Derbyshire Dales District Council will receive £309,000 from the second homes Council Tax fund which will support a number of projects across the district over the next two years.

This includes the Housing Options Service which will receive £93,000 each year to provide independent information, advice, support and practical help to older people living in unsuitable or poor housing.

The Lifetime Home Bungalows scheme, which aims to support the needs of disabled people and ensure new bungalows are built to 'Lifetime Homes' standards will receive £80,000.

A total of £35,000 a year will go to the Escape Project which helps vulnerable people, including people affected by domestic abuse, those with mental health issues and people with drug and alcohol problems, get involved in activities in their local communities.

A project providing one-to-one support to vulnerable adults will receive £43,000 in each of the next two years with funding for Hurst Farm Regeneration Project and housing related support services for people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and older people.

In High Peak, the borough council will give £95,000 towards meeting the housing needs of disabled people including providing Disabilities Facilities Grants over the next two years.

While two projects providing supported accommodation for young women aged 16 to 24 fleeing domestic abuse and another providing intensive support to families in crisis will receive £20,000 each.

Help to navigate changes to the benefits system will be given to vulnerable people with a grant of £5,000 while a debt and money advice project will receive a total of £25,000 over two years.

In South Derbyshire, the district council will use the additional funding to support homeless people with complex needs. 

With £35,000 each year, young people will be provided with temporary accommodation and one-to-one support with £27,000 allocated to Housing Options Support, to prevent young people from becoming homeless.

Councillor Jean Wharmby, our cabinet member for adult care, said:

“The extra money generated from Council Tax on second homes is being put to very good use across all four areas over the next two years.

“This money will be used to give housing and support services to people who are the most vulnerable which in turn will help to ease pressure on council services.”