Discretionary Housing Payments

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.


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