Apply for Discretionary Housing Payments now (pdf, 326kb)
What is a Discretionary Housing Payment?
A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is a way the Council may be able to give you more help towards your rent.
It cannot be used to pay for Council Tax.
In some cases lump sum payments can be made for rent deposits, payments in advance, removal costs or to clear rent arrears to prevent homelessness.
Who qualifies for a Discretionary Housing Payment?
To qualify for a DHP you must:
- Be getting Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit
- Need more help to meet your housing costs
The Council will decide if you need help by looking at your income, savings and expenses and your family circumstances
There is no list covering every situation that will be allowed a Discretionary Housing Payment. Each individual application will be considered.
Below are some examples of when a DHP may be made:
- A pregnant woman, close to the due date, moves into a home more suitable for herself and child. Housing Benefit is restricted because the property is considered too large for one person until the child is born.
- A disabled person lives in a ground floor flat that has more bedrooms than they are allowed under Housing Benefit Rules. The flat has been specially adapted for their needs
- A young couple live in a property which has various defects including dangerous appliances, damp and rodents. They are expecting their first child and need more suitable and safer accommodation. They have found a property suitable for their needs. Although they have saved and borrowed enough money from family for the first months, they need to pay a bond and have been refused help from other sources.
How much can I get?
The most you will get will be your full rent less the amount of Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of your Universal Credit. For example, a couple pay rent of £65 per week. They get £45.00 Housing Benefit per week. The maximum DHP would be £20 per week
In most cases, the maximum you may get up to £30 per week.
If payments are likely to be needed for less than 13 weeks you may be able to get more than £30 (up to a total of £650).
How do I claim a Discretionary Housing Payment?
You will need to fill in a DHP application form (below) or you can contact the Benefits Service at one of our enquiry offices.
You can look at the full DHP policy in the pdf link below.
What if I don't agree with the decision?
You may appeal against the decision. You should do this in writing within 1 month of the date of our decision. The appeal will be looked at by a Council officer who was not involved in making the original decision.
After this, if you still don't agree with our decision, you can make a further appeal which will be heard by a panel of Council Members.
More information about appeals is in the DHP policy below