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Care leavers to get council support in setting up home

News release 8351, published on 14 Nov 2018
Young care leavers aged between 18 and 25 are to receive help with council tax payments from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to support them as they set up home on their own or with others.

The borough council’s Cabinet agreed last night (Tuesday 13 November) that from 1 April 2019, young people who have previously been in the care of Hampshire County Council will get a reduction on their council tax bill.

The initiative to relieve the financial burden on young adults who have previously been in care was agreed by councillors keen to give them a positive start to independent living.

Under the scheme, there will be a 100% discount for those aged between 18 and 21 who are solely responsible for their council tax, with the discount then reduced by 25% each year until their 25th birthday.

Discounts of 50% off the council tax bill for the property will be given to a care leaver who lives with another adult, while a 25% reduction will be made to those who live with more than two adults.

Care leavers who were looked after by a local authority are one of the most vulnerable groups in the community and at risk of falling into debt. This was highlighted by the Children’s Society’s ‘Wolf at the Door’ campaign.

The borough council will fully fund the care leavers' discount scheme at an estimated cost of £10,000 a year.

Cabinet Member for Finance, Service Delivery and Improvement Cllr Robert Tate said: “By giving this help to young adults leaving care at a time when they are facing paying bills for the first time, we can make it easier for them to find a home of their own and encourage others to offer them accommodation. The way in which we have set up the scheme means they can take steps to becoming financially independent and avoid getting into debt. This new scheme is another example of our support for the more vulnerable people in our community.”

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