Discretionary Housing Payments

What are Discretionary Housing Payments?

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are extra payments to help people pay their rent. They can be given to people receiving Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit who need more help with their housing costs. DHPs are paid in addition to a persons Housing Benefit or Universal Credit entitlement.

Who can claim Discretionary Housing Payments?

Anyone who is in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit can claim Discretionary Housing Payment’s.

How much can I get in Discretionary Housing Payments and what do they cover?

The amount you are entitled to is entirely at the discretion of your local council.  However, the amount that you receive in Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) and Housing Benefit / Universal Credit Housing Costs cannot be more than your total eligible rent.  Your eligible rent does not normally include service charges such as water, gas and electricity.  A DHP may be applicable if you are, for example, affected by a reduction in the amount of help you get for the following reasons:

  • The Benefit Cap
  • The Bedroom Tax

Each council will have its own rules around DHP’s.  Some may award a DHP for a rent in advance payment, to help with moving costs and sometimes to help clear or reduce rent arrears.  You will need to speak to your local council about what is covered and what you can claim for.  You can find your local council via the useful link opposite.

How long can I get Discretionary Housing Payments for?

The length of an award varies from council to council and is dependent on your personal circumstances.  Each council has its own rules and will make a decision based on the information you provide.  You will need to speak to your local council to find out how long you can get help for.

How can I claim Discretionary Housing Payments?

To claim Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP’s) you need to contact your local council.  Some councils will have online forms, some will issue you forms and some may even request you visit their office or they come to your home.  To find out how to claim, you will need to visit your local council’s website.  You can find your local council by using the link opposite. 

Please note, you cannot get a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with your Council Tax.  However, some Council’s do have separate schemes to cover this but you will need to contact them directly.