Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

You can apply to your council for extra help with housing costs if you claim:

  • Housing Benefit or
  • the housing costs element of Universal Credit

A Discretionary Housing Payment may help with:

  • deposits
  • rent in advance
  • other lump sum housing costs such as removal costs
  • your weekly rent, if you are struggling to pay the full amount because of a change in your life, such as illness

When DHP can be paid

You may get a Discretionary Housing Payment if:

  • you are in social rented accommodation with a spare bedroom
  • you are in private rented accommodation and Local Housing Allowance is less than the rent
  • your Housing Benefit is reduced because you have other adults living with you (non-dependent contributions)

When DHP cannot be paid

You cannot get DHP:

  • to cover rent arrears
  • if you have over-payment deductions

Applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment

Apply to the Housing Benefits department of your local council.

Find your local council (GOV.UK)

You must complete an income and expenditure form. You will need to prove that you cannot meet your housing costs from your available income. If your council refuses, you can ask them to reconsider a decision.

There is no time limit for a DHP award. It could be a one-off payment or indefinite. A DHP can cover all or part of the rent shortfall. It can be paid to you or your landlord.

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