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Discretionary housing payment (DHP)

What is a Discretionary Housing Payment?

A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is an additional payment you can apply for if you receive Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit but are having difficulty paying your rent.

DHPs can be awarded if you are in financial difficulty and require extra help with your rent. An award is usually for a fixed period of time and there is no standard award amount. A DHP can also be awarded help with moving costs.

Who can apply for a DHP?

You must be receiving either Housing Benefit or the Housing Element of Universal Credit in order to apply for a DHP.

What DHPs can help with?

You may be able to get a DHP to help with:

  • a spare room that housing benefit won’t pay for
  • benefit caps resulting in reductions to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
  • your benefit being reduced because there’s a non-dependent in the household
  • a rent deposit or rent in advance for moving to a new home
  • removal costs
  • a shortfall between the amount of housing benefit or Universal Credit you get and the amount of rent you have to pay

What DHPs can’t cover

We are not able to award DHPs for:

  • service charges not covered by housing benefit or universal credit (such as charges included in your rent for fuel for personal use)
  • increases in rent because you’re in arrears
  • rent costs when your benefit has been reduced by the Department for Work and Pensions, normally because of a sanction
  • reductions in your Housing Benefit due to an overpayment being recovered
  • Council Tax

How to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment

You can apply for a DHP by completing an application form.

You can complete the form electronically and email it to us at: or you can print a copy of the form to complete.

Completed forms can be returned via post or taken to one of our One Stop Shops. You will find the addresses on the form. Remember to supply any supporting evidence along with your form.

If you would like us to send you a form telephone us on 01454 868002. If you require any assistance with completing the form you can contact us on this number or visit one of our One Stop Shops.


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