Apply for a discretionary housing payment

You may be able to get extra help from through a ‘discretionary housing payment’ (DHP) if your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs don’t cover your rent.

What a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) is for

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) can provide extra money to you or your landlord if you already receive Housing Benefit, but there is a shortfall between the rent you have to pay and the Housing Benefit you receive. They’re usually paid for a few months to help you through a crisis or short-term problem, but can pay for longer periods in exceptional circumstances.

We’ll look at your circumstances to firstly see whether you’re eligible. We’ll then decide on the amount to award you and for how long.

Who can claim

Anyone who is currently in receipt of Housing Benefit or the Housing Costs element of Universal Credit and requires more help with housing costs.

What a DHP is not for

You can’t get a DHP for:

  • Council Tax (visit Council Tax Discretionary Relief Scheme for support)
  • service charges that are not covered by Housing Benefit
  • deductions in Housing Benefit as a result of DWP sanctions
  • situations where Housing Benefit is withheld or suspended.

How the payments can be used

You may be given a DHP to cover housing costs, such as:

  • a shortfall between rent you have to pay and the Housing Benefit you receive as long as this is not for charges that Housing Benefit cannot pay for
  • rent deposits or rent in advance if you need to move home because you are living in unaffordable accommodation, or are in danger of being evicted from your current home.
  • a reduction in your Housing Benefit due to the recent Welfare Reforms such as the Benefit Cap, the removal of the spare room subsidy in social housing, the restriction on Local Housing Allowance rates

How to apply

You'll need to complete an application form and then call 020 8359 2442 to arrange an appointment. You can obtain a form by:

Help with heating costs

Check the site to see what help you can get with heating and energy costs

If your benefits stop

Some benefits stop if you go back to work, earn more money or work more hours.

If this happens, you could get an extra 4 weeks of Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent. This is called Extended Payment of Housing Benefit. We will contact you if you are eligible. You must have received certain benefits continuously for at least 26 weeks right up to the time when you went back work.

Once your extended payment ends, you might get ‘in-work Housing Benefit’.

You don’t have to apply – we’ll decide if you’re eligible for help and write and let you know.