Discretionary housing payments

If you are claiming Housing Benefit or receiving the housing costs element of Universal Credit but are still finding it hard to pay your rent, you may be able to get extra help by applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP).

The funds available under this scheme are limited and we can only help residents who need it most and who meet certain criteria. Usually we will only grant DHP for a limited period after which the decision is re-assessed.

Click here to find our more about our Discretionary Housing payments Policy

Discretionary Housing Payments Guidelines

How to apply

You can only apply for DHP if you are currently claiming housing benefit or in receipt of the housing element of Universal Credit.

To apply for DHP you need to complete an application form. To request a form please contact us.

How do we decide who gets DHP?

Each council is given a fixed amount each year by the Government to pay DHPs.

The following things are looked at when making a decision:

  • your total weekly income
  • your total weekly outgoings
  • whether you have any savings
  • whether anyone else in the household can help financially
  • whether you have any loans for debts still to pay
  • whether you could re-arrange any of your finances to help the situation
  • whether you or your family have any special health or disability problems
  • whether you have attempted to remedy the situation yourself 

How much DHP can I get, how is it paid and for how long?

It depends on your circumstances because each case is looked at individually and the DHPs are paid for different periods of time. If we decide that we can make a payment, we will write to tell you how much you will be paid and for how long.

Even if you get help, the amount awarded cannot be more than your total rent, less any amount for non-eligible charges.

If you are successful, DHPs are paid with your normal housing benefit.


If you disagree with the decision about an application for DHP you can ask for us to look at the matter again. You will need to do this is writing within one month of the date of the decision letter stating clearly the reasons why you disagree.

You cannot appeal to the appeals service about a DHP decision.

What if my circumstances change?

If your circumstances change it is important that you tell us about it straight away. Visit our change of circumstances section for further details.

If you are already claiming DHP, this may mean that your claim needs to be altered and if you are not currently claiming DHP, your change of circumstances could mean that you now qualify for help.

Contact us