Young care leavers could be eligible for a reduction in their council tax to help them make the transition to living independently.
Earlier this year, Durham County Council’s Cabinet agreed the introduction of a care leavers’ council tax reduction scheme, aimed at helping young people adjust to living on their own.
The new policy means that anyone aged under 25 and leaving care will not have to pay council tax if they are the only person paying the bill.
Additionally, any care leaver who moves into another household will see the bill reduced by 50%.
It is hoped that the scheme will break down some of the barriers which prevent people progressing into opportunities and avoid them falling into a benefits trap.
The new policy was effective from April, 1 2017 and any eligible claims could be backdated until that date.
Cllr Alan Napier, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for finance, said: “Many young people leaving care can struggle to adapt when living by themselves for the first time and having to make ends meet. Often, they do not possess the same support networks that other young people usually have.
“We believe this scheme will give them a more positive start to their adult lives and help them through what can sometimes be a difficult transition period.
“This also builds on our commitment to supporting vulnerable people and we are one of only two councils in the region to provide up to 100 per cent support for low paid and unemployed households in the county through our local council tax reduction scheme.”
To qualify for a reduction, care leavers must be under 25 and be named on the council tax bill and live alone, live with someone else and be named on the council tax bill, whether the other person is a care leaver or not and moving into a household where someone else pays the council tax.
For more information visit: www.durham.gov.uk/careleaverscounciltax