© Crown copyright 2016
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments/claiming-discretionary-housing-payments
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) can 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. They will decide whether to give you a DHP, how much you will be paid and for how long you will receive the payment.
Who can claim a Discretionary Housing Payment
Anyone who needs more help with housing costs and is currently claiming:
- Housing Benefit or
- Universal Credit with housing costs towards rental liability
You cannot get a DHP to help with Council Tax, although some councils run similar funds alongside their local Council Tax Support schemes.
The government has given councils funding to give DHPs to people who have been affected by welfare reforms including:
- the benefit cap
- removal of the spare room subsidy in the social rented sector
- changes to Local Housing Allowance rates, including the 4 year freeze
Some people may qualify for longer term support.
How a payment can be used
You may be given a DHP to cover housing costs, such as:
- a rent shortfall, for example, as a result of welfare reforms
- rent deposits or rent in advance if you need to move home
How to claim
This will depend on your council. Check with your council if you can apply online, by downloading an application form from their website or by phoning them. You can find their contact details on letters from them, or check at – www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
Other help with housing costs
Find out what other help you can get towards housing costs if you get:
- Universal Credit – www.gov.uk/universal-credit/other-financial-support
- Housing Benefit – www.gov.uk/housing-benefit/other-help-with-housing-costs