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Apply for Discretionary Housing Payment

People who are entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs and can't afford to pay their rent costs may also be able to claim Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

These payments may be used to meet shortfalls in rent where you are affected by the room restriction, benefit cap or other factors that reduce your benefit. They could also be used to help with removal costs.

The Government gives the council a limited amount of money to help in these circumstances, so we will look at your financial circumstances to establish if you have a shortfall in your rent or housing costs.

Only certain housing costs and charges can be considered when making a claim.

When people are charged rent it sometimes states in their tenancy agreement that the rent includes a service charge.

Some of these charges can be included within a Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs claim, and are called eligible housing costs.

Examples of service charges that may be included in your eligible rent are:

  • cleaning of communal areas (such as halls and passageways)
  • connection to a communal radio/television ariel
  • services provided by caretakers
  • children’s play areas

However, there are service charges that you can't claim for, such as:

  • fuel and water charges (unless it's for a communal area)
  • personal laundry
  • cleaning of rooms and windows (other than communal areas)
  • transport
  • meals or groceries (housing benefit uses set figures as a meal deduction)
  • television rental and license fee
  • leisure items like recreation facilities
  • personal care and support

Ineligible service charges are not paid by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs. If there is a shortfall in the amount of housing support your receive and the amount of rent, you must pay your landlord.

Unfortunately, Discretionary Housing Payments are not available to make up this shortfall.

Applying for Discretionary Housing Payment

Last updated 14 June 2024