Discretionary Housing Payment

If you receive Housing Benefit or the Universal Credit Housing Element and you are struggling to pay the amount of your rent that is not covered by this help you can apply for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP).

DHP can also help with Rent in Advance or a Deposit to help you move to a new address. But you must already be receiving Housing Benefit or the Universal Credit Housing Element for your current address. We cannot award you Rent in Advance or a Deposit if you have already signed for the new tenancy.

Each claim is considered on its own merits. We take account of your income and expenses and consider how your personal circumstances affect your ability to pay your rent. You will be informed of our decision in writing. 

What you might receive 

There is no fixed rate or period for which DHP may be awarded. It is paid from a limited fund and awarded on an individual discretionary basis. It is not guaranteed. An award is intended to help you for a short period and will only meet up to a maximum of the shortfall between your ent and the help you are already receiving. You can apply for another award when the first has run out. 

How to claim

  • apply online for DHP to help with rent at your current address
  • apply for Rent in Advance or a Deposit by printing off and completing the form below

Alternatively you can apply by - 

  • telephoning our Call Centre on 01482 300 300 to request a form be posted to you
  • visiting one of our Customer Service Centres or Information Points if you require assistance to complete the form

Please note due to coronavirus these offices have been temporarily closed.

Find your nearest Customer Service Centre or Information Point 

Who can claim?

You can claim if - 

  • you have unavoidable extra expenses because of special circumstances, such as disabilities, health problems or urgent debts
  • you are trying to find a more suitable property or a cheaper one as you are struggling to pay the rent for your current address
  • there are special reasons why you need to stay in a particular property like adaptations or for care reasons

You cannot claim for - 

  • any services included in you rent for services that are not eligible for Housing Benefit or the Universal Credit Housing Element (for example water rates, heating, meals)
  • increases to rent to collect outstanding arrears
  • loss of income if your benefits have been suspended or sanctioned 
  • a shortfall caused by the recovery of overpaid housing benefit
  • a shortfall in help towards your Council Tax

DHP cannot be paid for Council Tax. But you can apply for a Discretionary Council Tax Reduction if you have a Council Tax Reduction claim and are suffering exceptional hardship. 

For more information visit Council Tax discretionary reduction

If you would like to know how much benefit you may be able to receive or help with budgeting visit our benefit calculator and budgeting tools