Discretionary Housing Payments

The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) scheme can offer limited short term financial help with paying your rent.

A DHP is a short term emergency payment whilst you consider your future housing options – normally no longer than three months. It should not be considered as a permanent way round any current or future entitlement restrictions set out within the Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC) scheme.

Before a DHP can be awarded:

  • You must already be entitled to Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC).
  • You must require additional help with your housing costs ie 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.

DHP’s cannot be used 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.

In deciding whether to award a DHP, we take into account:

  • The shortfall between Housing Benefit and the housing component of UC and the contractual rent.
  • The income and expenditure of you and your household.
  • Any savings or capital that might be 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 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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