Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is a payment you may receive at the discretion of your local council to provide extra help with housing costs on top of your Housing Benefit (HB). You must be entitled to HB or the housing costs element of Universal Credit to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

The Government has increased the funding given to Local Authorities for DHPs to help people affected by the Benefit Cap and other HB changes.

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 privately rented accommodation and Local Housing Allowance is less than the rent
  • your Housing Benefit is reduced due to non-dependent contributions
  • your Housing Benefit is reduced due to the Benefit Cap

When DHP cannot be paid

You cannot get DHP:

  • to cover rent arrears
  • if your Housing Benefit is reduced because of over-payment deductions

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.

Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment

Apply to the Housing Benefits department of your local council. Find your local council.

You will need to complete an income and expenditure form and provide evidence that you cannot meet your housing costs from your available income. DHPs are discretionary. There is no right of entitlement or any right of appeal if your application is refused. But you can ask the local LA to reconsider a decision.

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