Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) provide customers with short term financial assistance where the Benefits Section consider that additional help with housing costs is needed.

DHPs are not payments of benefit. They are free standing payments to be made at the discretion of the Benefits Section where they consider that additional help with housing costs is needed. DHPs are subject to an annual cash limit, which the Benefits Section cannot exceed.

Whether you are granted a DHP, how much it is for and for how long it is paid is a decision for the Benefits Section and will entirely depend on your circumstances and the purpose of the DHP.

  • Who is entitled to claim DHPs and what they cover

    Anyone who is currently receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit (that includes a housing element towards rental liability) and requires further financial assistance with housing costs can make a claim for a DHP.

    What will they cover?
    Among other things DHPs may cover:
    • Restrictions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit following the introduction of the size criteria in the social sector
    • Restrictions in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit due to reductions in Local Housing Allowance
    • Rent deposits, rent in advance or removal costs if you need to move to a smaller or cheaper property

    DHPs do not cover
    • Ineligible service charges
    • Increases in rent due to outstanding rent arrears
    • Certain sanctions or reductions in Department for Work and Pensions benefits
    • Shortfalls caused by Housing Benefit overpayment recovery

  • What information do I need to provide?

    You will need to complete and return the DHP claim form and budget sheet, available on this page.

  • Additional DHP funding

    The Government has made additional funds available specifically to help two groups who may be affected by the introduction of size criteria rules in the social rented sector. These are for customers living in significantly adapted accommodation because of the disability of someone in the household and for foster carers. If you are in one of these two groups please make this clear on your completed DHP claim form.