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Crisis loans scheme could replace threatened grants system
A threatened grant scheme helping Bradfordians in crisis could live on by loaning people money instead, it has been revealed.
The Council-run scheme, which is having its Government funding axed from 2015, hands out crisis grants to people who have suffered an emergency or disaster.
It also provides goods and furniture for vulnerable people, such as the homeless or domestic violence victims.
Discretionary Support Payment has handed out £900,000 of cash and goods in the past ten months, and this figure is expected to reach £1.35 million by the end of the financial year.
Earlier this year, Council leader David Green branded the Government “pernicious and vindictive” after it announced it was axeing the funding for the scheme from 2015-16, meaning Bradford will lose £2.2million a year.
Now the authority is looking to keep offering help to people in crisis. One idea is a crisis loan scheme.
Fewer people have been applying for money through the scheme than had expected.
A report says any cash left over when the funding ends could be used to set up a loan scheme.
But Councillor Glen Miller, leader of the Conservative group, raised concerns about the idea, saying it would be costly for the authority to chase any outstanding debts.
Coun Green said they were seeing if they could work with a partner organisation.
Since April, 6,553 people have applied for crisis payouts. Of these, 4,274 were successful, getting an average of £77 each.
The report will go before the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday.
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