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. 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. This means a claimant who is receiving local council tax support but has not yet been awarded Housing Benefit or Universal Credit 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