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Discretionary housing payments

Discretionary housing payments (DHPs) are extra money from the council.

You could get DHPs to top up your benefits if you need help with:

  • rent payments

  • a tenancy deposit or rent in advance

  • the costs of moving home

You do not have to pay a DHP back.

Who can get DHPs

You need to be getting universal credit housing element or housing benefit.

Examples of why you might need more help include:

You cannot get DHPs to pay off rent arrears or because of benefit deductions for debts or sanctions.

Make a DHP claim

Contact your council's discretionary housing payments team

What is your location?

What to say on the form

Tell the council:

  • why you need help

  • if you are at risk of homelessness because of the problem

  • what has caused problems - for example, you have to pay the bedroom tax, or your benefits do not cover your full rent

How much money could you get?

Each case is different.

You might get enough to cover the difference between your benefits and your full rent. But you might only get part of what you need.

DHPs can be paid weekly, fortnightly, monthly or as a lump sum. They can be backdated.

How long do DHPs last for?

DHPs are usually paid for a set time.

For example, the council might pay a DHP to help you deal with a rent increase in the short term. But they might expect you to find somewhere cheaper to live in the longer term.

Councils get new funding for DHPs every April.

You can apply again if your DHPs stop but you still need them to help with rent.

You could get a one off payment to help with a deposit, rent in advance or removal costs if you're moving home.

If the council say you cannot get DHPs

You can ask the council to reconsider if you think the decision is unfair.

You can also apply for a DHP again.

Tell the council if you have new supporting information when you make a new application.

For example:

  • an income and spending sheet

  • medical information about why a disabled household member cannot share a bedroom

Easy read advice

Find easy read advice about discretionary housing payments (DHPs) on the Mencap website.

Other help you could get

Find out about:

Last updated: 7 April 2024

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