Discretionary Housing Payments
A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is an extra amount of money that the Council can give you to help you pay your rent.
DHP’s are not benefits. No one has an automatic right to a payment. They are awarded at the discretion of the Council. The details below explain when a DHP may be awarded.
DHPs can only be paid to people who are already getting some Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help pay their rent. If you are getting enough help to pay your rent, you will not be able to get any extra help. DHPs cannot be awarded to help you pay for non-rent charges like water rates and service charges.
If you make a claim for a DHP you will have to explain why you think you need extra help with your rent. You must show us that you or your family will suffer hardship if you do not get this extra help. We will also ask you to explain what other action you are taking to prevent you or your family suffering hardship. For example, if you are paying a high rent or you have extra bedrooms you do not need, you will be expected to look for a cheaper or smaller place to live.
How much will you get?
There is no fixed rate for a DHP. The level of payment is something we will decide when we are looking at an individual claim.
The Government has set a limit on the total amount the Council can spend on DHPs. When we receive a claim we have to think about how much money is available and how many people in this borough may need extra help.
A DHP is paid for a limited period of time to give people the chance to find other ways of reducing their housing costs.
How to make a claim
If you would like to apply for a DHP print, complete and return the claim form(pdf, 110KB) or contact us and we will send a form to you.
You must answer all of the questions on the form that apply to you. It is important that you give us as much information and evidence as possible to support your claim. For example if you or a member of your family suffers from ill health you will need to provide a supporting letter from your doctor or health worker.
We will look at your claim and consider all of the information and evidence you have provided. We will then write and tell you what our decision is. If you disagree with our decision you can ask us to look at your claim again.
The DHP form guidance notes(pdf, 86KB) for the form are also available. It is important that you read them.