These changes are aimed at helping more households facing fuel poverty.
Said the Foyle MLA: “Enhancements to the Affordable Warmth scheme’s eligibility criteria is good news and I hope will allow more households to avail of this support.
“Despite the allocation of £12 million for the financial year 2020/2021 many households who would have otherwise been eligible for this support found themselves missing out on due to difficulties posed by the pandemic.
“And in March of this year the Communities Minister in response to my Assembly Question predicted an underspend of £5.5 million within the scheme.
“At the time I implored Minister Hargey not to waste this crucial investment. And while Covid had a significant part to play in the underspend there is evidently a need to make this scheme more accessible
“The Affordable Warmth Scheme was designed to assist privately rented low-income households in areas of highest fuel poverty to improve energy efficiency within their home.
“Many of these households will be representative of those who fell through existing support packages and who will be in greatest need of help in the months ahead.
“As such, increasing the threshold to £23,000 per household and excluding certain benefits from the calculation of income is a necessary step.”Tags: