Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP's)

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 payment. They are awarded at the discretion of the Council. The details below explain when a DHP may be awarded.

Can I get a Discretionary Housing Payment?

Housing Benefit and/or Universal Credit, must be in payment in the benefit week that a DHP is awarded for. Recipients of Universal Credit, who claim a DHP, must have a rental liability and be eligible for housing costs within their award

They cannot be awarded to help you pay for non-rent charges like water rates and service charges .

Find out more about the Discretionary Housing Payment Scheme (PDF, 264KB)

How much will I 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 a set limit on the total amount the Council can spend on DHP's. When we receive a claim we have to think about how much money is available and how many people in the 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.

Awarding a Discretionary Housing Payment

In deciding whether to award a DHP, the Benefits Section will take into account:-

  • The financial and medical circumstances of the claimant, their partner and any dependants and any other occupants of the claimant's home
  • The income and expenditure of the claimant, their partner and any dependants or other occupants of the claimant's home
  • The current Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate applicable to the contractual rent
  • The level of debt that the family has and any arrangements they have made to reduce the debts
  • If there are special circumstances that apply to them or their family  
  • Any steps taken by the claimant to reduce the rent e.g. negotiations with their landlord
  • The possible impact on the local authority of not making the award e.g. the pressure on priority homeless accommodation
  • What links the tenant has with that area
  • What steps the tenant has made to find cheaper accommodation e.g. are they on the waiting list for other accommodation providers
  • The amount of DHP left in the budget
  • The eligible rent is restricted by under occupancy

The Benefits Section will decide how much to award based on all of the circumstances. An award of a DHP is seen as a short term solution to alleviate poverty and hardship and to give the claimant an opportunity to change their circumstance e.g. to find cheaper accommodation.

The award of a DHP as such does not guarantee that a further award will be made at a later date even if the claimant's circumstances have not changed.

How to claim or renew a claim.


You can make a new claim or renew your claim on line using the online form.

In person

You can collect a form or contact the Benefits section at one of our customer service centres or libraries

By post

To make new claim for DHP complete, sign and return the Discretionary Housing Payments application form (PDF 80KB)

To renew your DHP please complete, sign and return the Discretionary Housing Payment renewal form (PDF 80KB)

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