You could get a Budgeting Loan to pay for your rent in advance and other essential things like furniture and removal expenses. You must receive an income-related benefit for at least 26 weeks to qualify.

Read about Rent Deposit, bond and guarantee schemes.

Contact your local authority to see if they run a scheme.

Discretionary Housing Payment

Anyone who is claiming Housing Benefit and needs more help with housing costs can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). DHPs provide extra money when your council decides that you need extra help to meet your housing costs. Your council will look at your circumstances to see whether you are eligible for a DHP.

Lump Sum Discretionary Housing Payment

If you are moving house and it's essential that you move, for example if you need to move home to reduce your outgoings, take up a definite offer of employment or because you are at risk of being made homeless, a Discretionary Housing Payment may be able to help with:

  • deposits
  • rent in advance
  • other lump sum costs associated with a housing need such as removal costs.

It's unlikely that you will be awarded a Discretionary Housing Payment if you wish to move from social housing to private rented accommodation (unless there is a good reason to move)

Contact the Housing Benefit department at your local council for more information. You will be required to complete an income and expenditure form and provide supporting evidence that you are unable to 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 council to reconsider a decision.

Local Welfare Assistance Schemes

Local Welfare Assistance Schemes help people who are in urgent need following an emergency or crisis. Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to get some help under this scheme. Each local authority sets their eligibility criteria but generally you must receive an income-related benefit and you may need to have exhausted all other financial options before applying for a grant. Contact your local authority.

Search for grants.

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