Discretionary housing payments (DHP)

A discretionary housing payment could help you if your housing benefit doesn't cover the rent.

What is a discretionary housing payment (DHP)?

A DHP is an extra payment to help people who claim housing benefit and are struggling to pay the rent.

Your local council may award you a DHP if, for example, you're affected by:

You could also get a DHP to help pay a tenancy deposit for a new home, but only if you are already getting housing benefit where you live now.

You can also apply for a DHP if you receive universal credit payments that include help with paying your rent.

Make a DHP claim

You'll need to apply to your local council.

Ask for a claim form or for information about how to make a claim.

How the council decides

The council must be fair and reasonable when deciding how DHPs are allocated. There isn't a clear set of allocation rules.

Provide as much information as you can to help the council decide.

DHPs are usually only paid for a limited period. You may have to reapply at the end of the period. The council may expect you to make long-term changes in your budgeting or housing situation.

How much can be paid?

Each case is different. You may get enough to cover all your rent or costs or just part of those costs.

DHPs may be paid weekly, fortnightly, monthly or as a lump sum. Payments can be backdated. You do not have to repay a DHP.

Get advice about DHPs

A local adviser may be able to check the council's DHP policy and help you apply.

Search for your nearest Citizens Advice service

Look for a Shelter advice centre near you

Last updated 25 Apr 2016 | © Shelter

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