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Discretionary Housing Payments

We make Discretionary Housing Payments when we are satisfied someone needs extra financial help with paying their rent.

This includes any tenants who get Housing Benefit who are affected by changes made by the government, particularly when their options for moving home or increasing their income are limited.

Who can claim Discretionary Housing Payments?

Anybody receiving Housing Benefit can make a claim where there is a shortfall between the rent liability and the benefit awarded

However, Discretionary Housing Payments cannot be paid for service charges that Housing Benefit cannot cover, for example water rates, electricity and personal care.

We will consider making a payment if you can show there is a real need for help with the rent and you have good reasons.

It is completely up to us whether we make a payment.

If you are struggling to pay the shortfall but find somewhere to live that is affordable and sustainable, Discretionary Housing Payments may be claimed for:

  • rent deposits
  • rent in advance
  • moving costs

You must be getting Housing Benefit at your current address before you can ask for Discretionary Housing Payments to help with these costs.

Payments will not usually be made if we think:

  • the rent being charged for a property is too high 
  • the accommodation is too large for your needs and another suitable place to live is available

How to claim

Please complete the application form below and return it to us with the relevant information to support your claim.

We will need to see proof of expenditure where it is higher than normal, for example shopping receipts, utility bills and proof of loans.

When we receive your form and supporting documents we may need to ring you or invite you for an interview to discuss the information provided.

Request Discretionary Housing Payments (PDF/77KB/8 pages)

What happens next?

Your application will be considered by the Benefits Manager.  We will send you a letter to let you know the decision.

If a Discretionary Housing Payment is awarded the letter will let you know the amount and the period it covers.

If it is refused we will tell you the reason for the decision. 

You do not have the right to appeal. 

You can ask us to look at the decision again within one month of it being refused if you have new evidence and information to support your application.

How a payment will be made

We will decide how the award of Discretionary Housing Payments will be made.

The award will either be made:

  • to you
  • to your landlord or landlord's agent

Help with rent in advance and deposits will normally be paid to the new landlord.

Changes of circumstances

You must tell us immediately about any changes in income and circumstances of:

  • you
  • anyone living with you

This includes:

  • an increase in wages or any other income
  • income support or Jobseeker's Allowance ending
  • anyone joining or leaving your household

You could be prosecuted if you do not tell us.