Discretionary housing payment

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In this section:
Eligibility for discretionary housing payments (DHPs)

Eligibility for discretionary housing payments (DHPs)

Discretionary housing payments are payments that can be awarded in addition to your housing benefit and universal credit.

DHPs are awarded from a cash limited budget where we consider additional help is needed. We cannot award DHPs to help with ineligible amounts included in your rent, for example, certain service charges, gas, electric, food and water rates.

DHPs are not available to help with any shortfall in council tax reduction.

DHPs can be awarded for the following:

  • rent deposit and/or rent in advance
  • shortfall in rent

Eligibility for help

You can only receive a DHP towards your rent if you are in receipt of, or will be entitled to housing benefit or Universal Credit with a housing element.

You will have to demonstrate that due to your personal circumstances you need extra help with your housing costs.

You can qualify for discretionary housing payment if:

  • you have unavoidable extra expenses due to short term illness or significant health problems
  • you have had, or are having difficulty paying your rent 
  • Local Housing Allowance does not cover your full rent
  • your income (benefit) has reduced due to the benefit cap
  • you are receiving less housing benefit because you are under occupying your property
  • your choice of housing was beyond your control due to urgency or special needs
  • when you moved into the property you could afford the rent but your circumstances changed and you cannot move until your tenancy ends

This list is a guide only and will not cover all circumstances. Each case is considered individually.

We also look at other factors such as:

  • do you have savings?
  • can anyone in the household provide financial help?
  • do you have debts?
  • have you chosen to rent an expensive property without the means to pay the rent?
  • have you tried to re-negotiate the rent with the landlord?

If you think you qualify, apply using our online form below.

Apply for discretionary housing payment

Page last updated: 22 Oct 2019