It said millions of low-income households facing financial difficulty, growing rent arrears and debt, could improve their life chances if councils received the funding they need to provide a vital local safety net.
Carl Walker, Reader and Course leader, MA Community Psychology, in the University of Brighton’s School of Applied Social Science, co-wrote the report for the London-based Centre for Responsible Credit and the Local Government Association.
He said: “This may well have significant impact in that it is for councils across the country to reshape how they support local income families.”
The Local Government Association has responded by calling on the Government to use the Spending Review to “consider and fully-fund” the role of councils in supporting low-income households.
The report highlighted how welfare funding was axed in 2015 in favour of crisis support: “Councils have received £800 million to provide Discretionary Housing Payments to residents between 2015 and 2020 to support households affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy, Universal Credit, the benefit cap, and changes to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates. However, this funding is increasingly having to be used to make up systemic shortfalls and there is no guarantee that it will continue itself after 2020.”