Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs)

DHP’s may be awarded, in addition to any welfare benefits, when a Local Authority considers that a claimant requires further financial assistance towards housing costs. To be eligible for this additional help you must already be receiving Housing Benefit (HB) or have Housing Costs included in your Universal Credit(UC).

However, in most cases a claimant will need to demonstrate that they are unable to meet housing costs from their available income. The level of payment may cover all or part of a shortfall in rent or assist with the cost of taking up a tenancy.

A claimant who is receiving local council tax support only is not eligible for a DHP.

The various types of shortfalls that a DHP can cover include (but not limited to):

  • reductions in HB or UC where the benefit cap has been applied;
  • reductions in HB or UC following the removal of spare room subsidy in the social rented sector;
  • reductions in HB or UC as a result of local housing allowance restrictions;
  • rent officer restrictions such as local reference rent or shared room rate;
  • non-dependant deductions in HB, or housing cost contributions in UC;
  • rent shortfalls to prevent a household becoming homeless whilst the housing authority explores alternative options;
  • reductions due to income tapers.

What DHP’s cannot cover

There are certain elements of a claimant’s rent that cannot be included in housing costs for the purposes of a DHP because the regulations exclude them.

Excluded elements are:

  • ineligible service charges
  • increases in rent due to outstanding rent arrears
  • certain sanctions and reductions in benefit.

 

Download

Application - Discretionary Housing Payments and Exceptional Hardship Relief

Contact details

The Benefits Service
Daneshill House
Danestrete
Stevenage
Herts
SG1 1HN

01438 242440
benefits@hertspartnership-ala.gov.uk