Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) can help you for a short period if you need extra help with paying your rent.

To be eligible for DHPs, you must be claiming Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.

We must be satisfied that you are in need of extra financial help.

How to claim a DHP

To claim a DHP, use our online application form below.

Before you apply, check what your DHP can be used for.

The amount of help that you can get, and the length of any awarded payment, depends on your circumstances. We may ask for evidence to support your application. This may include proof of any medical conditions or extra expenses.

In making a decision, we will consider:

  • the amount of the shortfall in rent
  • how long the shortfall is likely to last
  • your financial circumstances such as income, expenditure and savings.

We would not usually award a DHP if you could deal with your housing costs in other ways, such as by:

  • moving to cheaper accommodation
  • reducing expenditure
  • claiming other benefits.

These payments are at the discretion of the council. They are subject to very limited funds, and are usually only intended for short periods of time.

What DHPs can be used for

DHPs are to support you if you are vulnerable, or to help you through a personal crisis. They can be used to pay for:

  • a shortfall between housing benefit and rent
  • housing costs included in Universal Credit
  • rent in advance
  • moving costs
  • rent arrears (but not if housing benefit can pay all of your rent).

A DHP cannot be awarded where a shortfall is due to recovery of an overpayment. It also cannot be awarded for ineligible service charges which are included in your rent. 

We will take into account any special circumstances, such as:

  • high heating costs due to your disability keeping you at home
  • special dietary requirements
  • having to live where you do because of significant health problems
  • additional travel costs to a doctor or hospital
  • being likely to become homeless if a payment is not made.

Changes in circumstances

You must tell us immediately of any changes in your income and/or circumstances. You must also tell us of any changes to the income and/or circumstances of anyone who lives with you. This includes:

  • any increase in wages or any other income
  • anyone moving in or out of your home.

We are committed to combating fraud. It is a criminal offence to claim a DHP fraudulently. We will use our powers to prosecute if necessary.

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