The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme can give you limited short term help paying your rent.
It is a short term emergency payment until you can find alternative housing – normally no longer than three months. It should not be considered as a permanent solution to a shortfall in your Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC) award.
Before we can give you a DHP:
- You can only apply if your already receive Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC)
- You must require additional help with your housing costs i.e. have a shortfall between your rent and benefit entitlement
- You must have already spoken with your housing provider about your rent payments
- The council must have sufficient funds available to cover the cost of your DHP.
You cannot use it for:
- Ineligible service charges for HB
- Increases in rent due to outstanding rent arrears
- Sanctions and reductions in benefit
- Council Tax support through the local Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
We take into account:
- The shortfall between HB and the housing component of UC and the contractual rent
- The income and expenditure of you and your household
- Any savings or capital held by you or your household
- Any steps taken to reduce your rental liability. For example, have you tried or are you actively seeking alternative cheaper accommodation
- Any future changes in circumstances that will lead to an increase in HB entitlement or UC entitlement
- Did you find out what your Local Housing Allowance would be before moving into the property?
- Were you aware of any restrictions on HB as a result of under occupation?
- Have you applied for all available sources of income available to you?
- The level of indebtedness and committed expenditure of you and your family.
How to apply
You must also provide evidence of your current expenditure.
You can get advice on claiming a Discretionary Housing payment by contacting the Help with Rent Team (external link) via their website or contacting them on 0845 1202093.